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In bestseller Hitchcock's whirling and suspenseful comedy of manners, gauche, aggressive Cynthia Rinehart, a self-made millionairess, explodes onto the philanthropy scene and the grand dames of old money Washington collectively clutch their husbands. Meanwhile, the Beltway Basher, suspected to be a member of the D.C. elite, continues to bump off young brunettes. Reven Lynch, an unmarried antique-shop owner, is tapped to play society informant, perhaps because her love interest, notorious playboy (and the D.C. version of Sex and the City's "Mr. Big") Bob Poll, is also a person of interest in the case. Gossip, manipulation and infidelity all happen behind Washington's velvet curtain, and it's the stuff of high school, but with higher-nay, deadlier-stakes. And among the backbiting, Hitchcock (Social Crimes) manages to stew a convincing homicide plot, peppered with enough red herrings to keep the reader guessing, and guessing again, to the novel's neat finish. (Aug.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.