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Crescent Blues Book ViewsImage: three moon gifSt. Martin's Minotaur (Hardcover), ISBN: 0-312-28029-7
Large is the operative word here. Featuring a large heroine, Josephine (Jo) Fuller, a large cast of quirky, zany characters, and a large, circuitous plot, At Large supplied a large number of snickers, giggles, and a guffaw or two. It also caused me to scratch my head and say "Huh?" a couple of times. But that might have been my own density and no fault of the book's.

Book: Margery Atwood, Blind assassinIn this, the third mystery featuring Jo and the odd and unusual tenants in Jo's apartment building, finds Jo checking out a women's job skill center to see if it qualifies as a charity worthy of the support of Jo's wealthy employer. Then Teddy Etheridge, an old acquaintance, shows up.

I need to back up at bit here and explain that Jo's ex-husband, Griffin Fuller, currently lives with Teddy's estranged wife. But that doesn't trouble Teddy. No indeed. Teddy found a new lover, but she ran out on him. Teddy wants Jo to help him find his missing girlfriend, another queen-sized lady. In the process, Jo finds Teddy's wife, Francesca, but she's dead. Murdered. And who do the police suspect did the deed? Jo's ex, world-famous photographer Griffin Fuller.

Book: Margery Atwood, Blind assassinMeanwhile back at the apartment building, the building manager allows an ex-con to move in with her -- not a good move at all. Mulligan, Jo's current, love feels less than pleased about the re-entry of Jo's ex into her life. The book's various elements -- personal complications, devious plot twists, a strong feeling the author couldn't possibly make all the pieces of the mystery fit to form a coherent whole -- combine to produce an intriguing, charming and hilarious read.

If you want a large dose of fun carefully entwined in a rip-snorting mystery, then this book definitely deserves a shot.

Patricia Lucas White

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