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    OUR HUSBAND by Stephanie Bond

    St. Martin's Paperbacks, October 2000

    Natalie has a problem. She's just discovered her husband, Raymond, has been pawning her jewelry. Later the same day, she's called to a nearby hospital, where Raymond is being treated for injuries sustained in a car accident. Still hopping mad but concerned, she rushes to his side, only to discover she's got company. Raymond has two other wives--Beatrix, his classy, rich, alcoholic first wife, and Ruby, a 21-year-old pregnant stripper with whom he only recently tied the knot. All three wives are bewildered and angry. And all three end up accused of murder when Raymond suddenly dies under mysterious circumstances.

    In her first big, mainstream novel, Stephanie Bond takes what could have been a pedestrian plot and elevates it so that it stands out from the crowd. She does it with humor and well-rounded, interesting characters, particularly the naive stripper Ruby, who is so lovable you want to take her home with you and buy her better clothes. The three women, at first suspicious and antagonistic toward one another, eventually join forces to help themselves beat the murder charge--though at times each of them looks pretty guilty.

    OUR HUSBAND is a fine read, a fast-paced book with a little romance subplot. I'm looking forward to Ms. Bond's next offering.

    Three Stars

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