Adroitly meshing the worlds of commerce and art, this complex mystery
calls for husband-and-wife investigators Charlie Meiklejohn and Constance
Leidl to muster all their maturity, shrewdness and intuition. In a party
at her Maryland farmhouse, their old friend Marion ("Tootles") Olson
celebrates the launch of her art tour and the imminent opening of her
second husband Max Buell's condominiums, built just a brisk walk from
the house. But the evening turns tragic. Tootle's sculptures are vandalized
and the strangled body of a guest, highly regarded art magazine editor
Victoria Leeds, is discovered in one of Max's condominiums. Charlie
and Constance interview several of the partygoers and learn that an
earlier death at the condo site, first seen as an accident, is linked
to Victoria's murder. John Buell, Tootles's chronically sullen stepson
and his partner in the condo construction business, might be implicated.
While Wilhelm ( And the Angels Sing ) deftly leads her clever sleuths
through an intricate plot, a heavy dose of the occult muddies the waters,
and many skimpily developed characters refuse to come to life.