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Mortal Friends    by Jane Stanton Hitchcock order for
Mortal Friends
by Jane Stanton Hitchcock
Order:  USA  Can
Harper, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Pat Elliott

D.C. Police Detective Gunner is convinced the Beltway Slasher is a society big shot. But he cannot enter the society world for clues. So he recruits attractive Reven Lynch. She loves the role of spy in society, until she learns her latest heartthrob is number uno on Detective Gunner's list of suspects.

Reven and friend Violet Bolton make the rounds on the D.C. social circuit. Violet attends because husband Grant needs to be there for business reasons. Reven is happy to accompany her friend, because Violet pays her way to the glamorous events so she has someone with whom to laugh. And it gives Reven the chance to spy on Washington's elite.

Written in the tradition of Margaret Truman's wonderful society slayings and atrocities, Mortal Friends soon immerses the reader in murder and mayhem in Capital City.

Reven describes Violet's husband Grant as Mr. Straight Arrow. He never laughs. He is like a totem pole: tall, wooden and joyless. And he doesn't like it when Violet and Reven misbehave in public. But they don't let that deter them from enjoying themselves at others' expense. Violet, Grant and Cynthia are in the audience at the Kennedy Center when the perfect Ms. Cynthia Rinehart donates one hundred million dollars. Thereafter, it seems every social event centers on Ms. Rinehart with Violet's husband Grant in her orbit. Grant immediately becomes vivacious in supporting Ms. Rinehart's causes.

Mortal Friends is a mystery of the finest order. It incorporates murder, infidelity, high society and romance - well, just a little romance. Jane Stanton Hitchcock's books are a rare find and I will be searching my bookstore for The Witches' Hammer, Trick of the Eye, Social Crimes, and One Dangerous Lady.

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