Following her introduction in Murder on Martha's Vineyard, photojournalist Margaret Barlow, whose hobby is hang-gliding, is summoned to her granddaughter Nancy's private girls' school, her own alma mater, in this cozy mystery. A freshman scholarship student at Brides Hall has died mysteriously, apparently having hanged herself on a chapel bell rope. Most of the student body believes it was suicide, but Maryland homicide Lt. Michael Dominic suspects murder, and asks Margaret to find out what the students and the administrators, many of whom are Margaret's old schoolmates, aren't telling the police. Parents' weekend, with an operetta and annual boat race, hampers the police investigation but aids Margaret's investigative efforts. Only the graphic description of an additional, particularly gruesome murder mars the gentility of this satisfying tale featuring Osborn's intrepid middle-aged sleuth. (May)
New York-based freelance photojournalist Margaret Barlow--50ish, but athletic and younger-looking--drives to Bride's Hall, a girls' school in Maryland, to comfort her granddaughter after a murder there. Herself an alumna with access to insiders, Margaret stays on to assist the investigation at the request of 40ish, disturbingly handsome Lieutenant Dominic. Despite threats, evidence of embezzlement, and further murder, she persists until uncovering the killer. Osborn ( Murder on Martha's Vineyard , Lynx Bks., 1989) crafts a lightweight, but for the most part smoothly written and lively puzzler.