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by Triss Stein

Pub Date: July 2nd, 1998
ISBN: 0-8027-3319-0
Publisher: Walker

A somewhat slicker follow-up to the debut novel that introduced features reporter Kay Engels (Murder at the Class Reunion, 1993). Kay’s working for a magazine in New York; missing her lover Tony, away on business; deciding to look for her long unheard from Aunt Sally, whom she—d recently discovered to be her real birth mother; and renewing ties with old school friend Dr. Vera Contas, an archaeologist. Vera’s present dig is in the Wall Street area where realtor Alan Elkan will be putting up a commercial building after Vera completes the required archaeological survey. So far she has uncovered traces of a burnt-out 17th- century tavern, probably frequented by seafarers, possibly even Captain Kidd. The open site has been plagued by vandalism, despite security overseen by Jerry Murtaugh, who also works for Alan’s father, a longtime builder in Brooklyn. A fatal accident (or was it?) involving construction worker Kevin Conley; a shot fired at Vera; the trashing of Kay’s car—all this, and more, climaxed by the murder of Alan Elkan, sends Kay on a dangerous investigation centered in Brooklyn nearly costing her life. Motivation lacks credibility, and Kay’s first-person narrative spends too much time on inner angst, but most readers will find the archaeological lore and Brighton Beach background at least mildly diverting.