Picks and Pans Review: Likely to Die

updated 08/25/1997 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/25/1997 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Linda Fairstein

Female sleuths come in two downmarket styles: sensible shoes (Miss Marple) and jeans-and-sneakers (Kinsey Millhone). Step aside, girls. Here comes Manhattan sex-crimes prosecutor Alexandra Cooper in a red Escada suit, trailing a cloud of Chanel No. 5 while sending a paralegal to Bloomingdale's for emery boards. In her second outing, Fairstein (whose day job is the real-life version of Alex's) gives her sleek—and single—DA a whopping whodunit. In a savage attack disguised as rape, cold and calculating neurosurgeon Gemma Dogen is murdered in her office at Mid-Manhattan Medical Center. There are plenty of suspects to keep Alex clicking along in her Manolo Blahnik heels. Along with the action, there's also a lunch or two at Mortimer's, a shopping spree, a trip to London and sizzling sexual tension between Alex and NYPD detective Mike Chapman. With its taut plot and classy setting, Likely to Die is an uptown act. (Scribner, $24)

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