Signet, Feb 2002, 5.99, 272 pp.
After twenty-eight years of marriage, Claire Reyner divorces her philandering husband, leaves her Arizona home and job to become a librarian at the Center for Southwest Research at the University of New Mexico. Claire is a very bright, self-contained woman who looks at all the ramifications before coming to a conclusion. One finds it ironic that this very cautious woman keeps finding herself in the middle of a homicide investigation.
This time around, a former sorority sister who stayed in her home a year ago, illegally got a credit card in Claire's name. Claire finds out about this when a police officer comes to her home and tells her that somebody killed the woman. Later, a witness comes forward, describing Claire and three of her ex sorority sisters who the woman stole from. Without an alibi and with planted evidence in her office implicating Claire as the murder suspect, she decides to find the real evidence that will clear her name.
Judith Van Gieson has created a heroine that most women will want to emulate because she is so bright, honest and likable. The mystery itself seems straightforward but is really multi-layered and complex. The support cast moves the story line along in a brisk and breezy manner but character development is not shortchanged because of an action created plot. CONFIDENCE WOMAN is entertaining and informative, a real treat for fans of the intelligent amateur sleuth tale.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner