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    HEIRS AND PARENTS by Ralph McInerny


    St. Martin's Minotaur, June 2000

    Beautiful Helga Bjornsen is brutally murdered and there is no lack of motive. While in college, she had become involved with a pornography ring and her nude form smeared over perversion. She had been having an affair with a married man--and ended it. The death of town benefactor (Stanley Waggoner) may have also left her an heir--if she'd been alive to collect. The problem lawyer Andrew Broom faces is clearing Helga's somewhat odious ex-lover and, at the same time, resolving Waggoner's will to the benefit of his supposed wife.

    Broom fights a constant battle against his rival, Frank McGough (who represents the other heirs to the Waggoner fortune), a battle somewhat confused by his associate/nephew Gerald's growing love for Julia McGough, Frank's son. Since Broom had hired Helga as a summer intern just to distract Gerald, Broom feels compelled to get to the bottom of the mystery.

    Ralph McInerny writes with a light touch, developing characters who pursue their own agendas of love, lust, adultery, and even murder. His descriptions of small-town Indiana ring true, although it is touched with a smugness that puts ordinary working people in a lower category than intellectuals like Broom. You'll find yourself reading with a wry smile pasted on your face.

    Three Stars

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