Signet, Mar 2003, 5.99, 272 pp.
With her sister Margot still in Florida recovering from an ankle injury, private investigator Desiree Shapiro takes her niece Ellen to a surprise wedding shower at the Silver Oaks Country Club in Forsythe, Long Island. While everyone eats salad, the groom's Aunt Bobby Jean Morton keels over and dies. Everyone attending the event except Desiree and Ellen and perhaps the victim's sister-in-law apparently hated the trice married Bobby Jean.
The groom Mike Lynton, who might have been the only living person quite fond of his aunt, calls Desiree to hire her to investigate the death of his aunt. She refuses his offer of money though she could use the cash as the Manhattan sleuth considers him family and plans to make her own inquiries. Now if the plump Desiree can only be as confident with her attraction to smallish neighbor Nick Grainger as she is in trying to solve a homicide, life would remain still broke, but perfect.
The latest Desiree Shapiro tale is an exciting private investigator tale that is fun to read because of the delightful cast, especially the heroine. The who-done-it is cleverly designed so that the reader receives clues to narrow down the myriad of suspects who attended the luncheon and wanted Bobby Jean dead. However, Selma Eichler's novel belongs to everyone's favorite sappy sucker Ms. Shapiro and the supporting ensemble who make this lively widow so much fun to watch in action whether it is questioning a suspect or trying to pick up the neighbor in the supermarket.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner