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    Review of DEATH TAKES A HAND By Susan Moody


    Otto Penzler Books, January 1994

    Bridge instructor Cassandra (Cassie) Swann is running late for her bridge class. She doesn't realize how late she is until she walks in to discover that all three of her students are dead. Two have suffered apparent heart attacks while the third had her head bashed in. A couple of weeks later, another student dies and all of a sudden, Cassie is bombarded with cancelations. Bridge is hard enough without the risk of death at the end of it. Unless she can find the real killer, Cassie realizes her dreams of independence just might be nearing their end.

    Cassie sets out to investigate, tracking down the other students, trying to learn if any of them heard anything, saw anything, or had motives that the police have not yet discovered. After all, a bridge-mind is a powerful weapon. As anyone who plays bridge knows, bridge players are a strange lot, and Cassie discovers plenty of weird people, as well as plenty of secrets.

    Author Susan Moody writes an engaging enough story, but I was surprised to find I never could really put myself in Cassie's place, never really care too much about her difficulties. (This is a little strange as I'm a bridge instructor myself and would love to be able to achieve the kind of financial independence Cassie is striving for). And calling it a bridge mystery would be like calling a mystery solved by an automotive worker an assembly line mystery. DEATH TAKES A HAND is a pleasant, but unremarkable mystery.

    Two Stars

    Reviewed 10/20/09

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