Picks and Pans Review: Murder on Embassy Row

updated 07/02/1984 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/02/1984 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Margaret Truman

"It'd make a great novel, wouldn't it," says one of the characters. "British Ambassador to the United States poisoned in his own embassy by his Iranian manservant. Juicy." This mystery novel isn't great, but it sure is juicy. When the Iranian suspect flees the U.S., the case is supposed to be closed. But Capt. Salvatore Morizio of the Washington Metropolitan Police has a drinking buddy who works in the British Embassy. When the buddy turns up dead of a drug overdose, Morizio is determined to get to the bottom of the murders, and he and his beautiful assistant chip away until they uncover a most unsavory plot. Key information turns up in the stock of a rare-book dealer—a rather farfetched plot twist—but Truman mostly plays fair with the old-fashioned rules of this genre. There is a sweetly romantic love affair and a lot of inside information about the decor, food and party life in Washington. This is a slicker, more satisfying entertainment than Truman's earlier mysteries. She gets better each time out. (Arbor House, $15.95)

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