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Four moon gifSt. Martin's Minotaur (Hardcover),
ISBN 0-312-26143-8

A famous writer dies -- murdered -- in an isolated cabin beside a mountain lake. A daughter mourns the loss of the most important man in her life and vows to find the murderer no matter what the cost.

Sound like standard mystery fare? Yes, but Kate Wilhelm's understanding of plot, character, and setting elevates the story to a great tale of suspense and betrayal, honor and dishonor.

Book: Kate Wilhelm, The Deepest WaterThis may be more my reaction than fact, but it seems that in addition to providing a great read, The Deepest Water delves deeper. It approaches the mythic. The archetypal figures of the three Norns (or Fates) become central, if only symbolically, not only in uncovering the villain but also in determining the villain's punishment.

Abby Connors, the protagonist, sets out to discover her father's murderer. What she discovers leads her to redefine her own life, her marriage, and who and what she is. She also learns that the father she loved and trusted concealed secrets from her and the world. But her husband follows a different agenda.

Book: Kate Wilhelm, Defense for the DevilWriter Judson Vickers' murder occurred in a cabin with virtually no access except by boat or an overgrown road. The road shows no sign of use. No one used the boat, kept at the home of another cabin dweller. Jud's fierce watchdog would have only allowed someone it recognized into the cabin. Abby and her husband both possess alibis -- or do they? Can you fake an alibi?

The terms of Jud's oddly worded will just might cause Abby's death if the perpetrator can't be found before time runs out. The murderer's identity lies in the pages of Jud's latest manuscript -- but only if the reader reads with a knowing and discerning eye.

This book haunts me. I find myself thinking about it at different times and wondering if I should read it again, find new levels I haven't yet explored. Needless to say, I recommend it to anyone who will listen.

Patricia White

Patricia White is the Sapphire Award-winning author of A Wizard Scorned. Her recent contemporary PS, I've Taken a Lover, is available from Lionhearted Books . The Wandering Troll , an electronic magazine, began serializing her novel Prophecy Be Damned in April 2000. Her latest novel, the Eppie award-winning Legend of Lejube Rogue , is now available at Crossroads Publishing.

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