Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyIt's sad to realize that this ingenious novel is a posthumous publication by the author whose prize mysteries transcend the genre. The murder trial of Cully Paul King, handsome black skipper of the yacht Bewitched, takes place in a California coastal town. Events prove King had strangled Madeline Pherson aboard the yacht, after hiring her as a cook. The prosecutor claims that the victim's jewel casewhich can't be found was King's motive for murder. The contents of the case mark one of the startling disclosures in the proceedings, most shedding merciless light on the people involved with the defendant. The judge, the opposing attorneys, the amorous court clerkeveryone has more at stake in the verdict than the defendant. All, for different reasons, want to control King's future. Only one realizes that ambition, making the final shocker in Millar's tautly constructed story. (September 24)
Library JournalA yacht captain is on trial for murdering a woman he hired with more than the boat's cooking in mind. Circumstantial evidence abounds, so the slick defense attorney coaches his client in ways to influence the jury. Millar is more interested in developing engaging, three-dimensional characters than in solving the crime here. The judge, the lawyers, the clerk, and several witnesses all have different reasons for being concerned with the outcome, and the reader gets to see that justice can be very fragile in a realistic courtroom setting. A neat surprise ending concludes this skillfully told story, one of the author's wittiest. Highly recommended. Will Hepfer, SUNY at Buffalo Libs.
- International Polygonics, Limited
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