(pb; 1985: second book in the Kinsey Millhone mysteries)
From the back cover:
"Finding wealthy Elaine Boldt seems like a quickie case to Kinsey Milhone. The flashy widow was last seen wearing a $12,000 lynx coat, leaving her condo in Santa Teresa for her condo in Boca Raton. But somewhere in between, she vanished. Kinsey's case goes from puzzling to sinister when a house is torched, an apartment is burgled of worthless papers, the lynx coat comes back without Elaine, and her bridge partner is found dead. Soon Kinsey's clues begin to form a capital M -- not for missing, but for murder: and plenty of it."
Two weeks after her in-your-face near-death experience in 'A' is for Alibi, semi-quirky, tough-minded Kinsey is once again employed on an unusual case. The suspects include: a mindgame-playing married couple; a heartbroken widower; a filthy, possibly violent, shady female freeloader; and several bridge-playing neighbors of the missing woman (Elaine Boldt).
I figured out the set-up midway through, but that didn't detract from my enjoyment of Kinsey's investigation. Her tell-it-like-it-is, first-person account is engaging and sharp, spiced with moments of fear worthy of a top-notch horror novel.
Check it out.
Followed by 'C' is for Corpse.