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By Joyce Christmas

Fawcett Gold Medal, (June, 1999) Paperback, $5.99
ISBN 0-449-15012-7

Reviewed by S. E. Warwick (12/99)

Betty Trenka and Lady Margaret Priam are light years apart. The wry humor of the Lady Margaret books is missing from MOOD TO MURDER.

Trenka's character, a woman in her early sixties forcibly retired when the son of the man for whom she worked her entire adult life took over the company, is oddly one dimensional.

The whole book seems to be a forced exercise in writing a mystery. The characters range from being stereotypical to totally unbelievable. It was as though Christmas sat down, wrote an outline for MOOD TO MURDER, and filled in the blanks in a workmanlike manner--the way Betty Trenka approaches every task from planting pansies to averting a murder.

MOOD TO MURDER is not the best that Christmas can do.

The other titles in this series are: THIS BUSINESS IS MURDER, DEATH AT FACE VALUE, and DOWNSIZED TO DEATH.

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