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    MURDER IN THE ROUGH by J. S. Borthwick

    St. Martin's Minotaur, March 2002

    Recently retired from college life, John and Elspeth McKenzie move to a planned community in Maine where they can be near their son Alex and daughter in law Sarah. Neither counts on Sarah's uncanny ability to turn up bodies and, in fact, Sarah doesn't actually find the first body. Soon, however, she is involved, especially when Elspeth's expensive new bicycle is stolen and vanishes from the gated and guarded community.

    More murders lead to police mystification and Sarah's increasingly desperate attempts to do something--anything--to come up with a solution. But not only are there no suspects--there aren't even any good motives. Both of the victims are habitual losers but, oddly enough, both are related to two of the families who have recently moved into the development.

    Author J. S. Borthwick writes convincingly of Maine life and weather, and presents murder with a light touch. John and Elspeth, in particular, are engaging characters, each with their own foibles, uncertain about their decision to leave their old life and take up this new and organized one. MURDER IN THE ROUGH is light fluff, but it is enjoyable reading.

    Three Stars

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