Picks and Pans Review: She Came by the Book
Page-Turner of the Week
GUMSHOE EMMA VICTOR IS HAVING the mother of all bad days. Soon after this engaging mystery opens, she gets mugged. Then her longtime lover Frances splits. Next, Emma, the lesbian heroine of two previous mysteries, shows up at gay San Francisco's most gala dinner only to discover that the hostess is wearing the same skimpy, sequined number she is—and looks better in it, even as she lies dying of poison. But there's no time for Emma to lick her wounds because the prime suspect's lawyer hires her, and she's plunged up to her newly pierced nose in even more trouble.
As Emma snoops around a far dicier metropolis than Tony Bennett celebrated, one teeming with self-styled biker dykes and histrionic drama queens, her investigations threaten to expose some of the city's most powerful. If she lives that long. Author Wings, a San Francisco resident, knows the territory intimately—as well as how to spin a snappy tale with more twists than Lombard Street. (Berkley, $21.95)