When five women meet up at a reunion to share stories of struggle, triumph, accomplishment and pain, they also encounter a murder.
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Although the mystery genre has stretched its boundaries during the last 20 years, certain requirements pertaining to plot and motivation, e.g., who committed the crime and why, still obtain. Drury, in this disappointing third Tyler Jones tale (following Silent Words, 1996), skirts those demands as she focuses almost exclusively on portraying the relationships among her characters. Tyler, a San Francisco journalist, attends a 20th reunion with five college friends on an isolated island in Puget Sound. Tyler, Mary Sharon, Rachel and Teddie are lesbians; Grace has remained asexual; Julie has married. Their fond memories of participation in a burgeoning feminist movement, and their subsequent successes and struggles reveal six smart, accomplished women, articulate in feminist and lesbian polemics. Then a storm cuts telephone service with the mainland. Tyler and Mary Sharon discover a dead man they don't recognize; the others confess they each had a connection to him. With all mutually suspicious of one another, the tension mounts, forcing secrets into the open that eventually draw the six women closer. In an anticlimax, they're rescued by the Coast Guard and plan their next get-together and readers are left, unforgivably, to guess at the murderer's identity and motive.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Drury's latest Tyler Jones caper combines a hoary old plot device--old pals and ex-lovers stranded on an island in a raging storm with no working phone--with an equally, uh, traditional means of development: "Oh-oh, is that a corpse I see?" Drury shunts us back and forth from the sequential soul-baring of each trapped woman to the issue of a dead man being known to some who have somehow neglected to mention it. The eventual outcome is inconclusive, as a deus ex machina in the form of a helicopter apparently removes the body, which is never seen again, and readers are left wondering whether any of Tyler's old friends or lovers have gotten away with murder. Written with enough style and tantalizing detail to keep readers turning pages, this is ultimately only marginally satisfying as a good woman's read, not at all as a murder mystery. Whitney Scott
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Book Description Spinsters Ink, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M188352329X
Book Description Spinsters Ink Books, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P11188352329X