A Better Class of Murder by Joyce Christmas ReviewBallantine, Dec., 2000.
Paperback, 288 pages.
Mystery author Joyce Christmas is the creator of two popular amateur sleuths: the elegant Lady Margaret Priam, who solves crimes while navigating the upper social circles of Manhattan society, and Betty Trenka, a retired office manager who lives in East Moulton, Connecticut. In A Better Class of Murder, these two very different (and both quite fascinating) amateur sleuths meet up in New York to solve the murder of a mysterious woman found strangled on a foggy beach. Betty's neighbor, Ted Kelso, hires Betty to go to Manhattan to size up computer billionaire Gerald Toth, who wants to hire Ted to vet his latest software invention. Lady Margaret has been asked to help introduce Betty to the social scene while Betty is in town to do business with Toth, and the two become friends. But as Betty enjoys the high life in Manhattan, she also becomes an unwitting target for a killer who isn't interested in having his crimes come to light.
Fans of the both the Betty Trenka and the Lady Margaret Priam mystery series are going to be in heaven with Joyce Christmas' latest mystery offering. The styles of the two sleuths blend perfectly: Betty's no-nonsense approach and Margaret's elegant deductions make for entertaining reading. As always, the dialogue is quick and witty and Christmas' dissection of the Manhattan social scene is dead on. Highly recommended.
--Claire E. White
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