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Grand Slam


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Moody plays a near perfect hand in the second adventure of bridge professional Cassandra Swann, introduced in Death Takes a Hand. Cassie, who teaches a weekly bridge class at a local prison, is hired by wealthy, social-climbing Londoner Royston Chilcott as his partner for a game at the home of Sir Peter Aubrey. They lose the last high-stakes rubber, and on the way home Chilcott turns suddenly vindictive and forces Cassie from his car. After stumbling along the rain-soaked road back to Aubrey's, she calls a friend for a ride home, learning only the next day that she had tripped over the murdered body of Lady Portia, Sir Peter's wife. Cassie gets to know Detective Sergeant Walsh when the police question her about Lady Portia's death, but it isn't until one of her bridge nights at the prison that she is pointed toward Lady Portia's killer and the reason she was killed. Earthy Cassie, with her wry sense of humor and her lust for life, has a powerful appeal that extends beyond bridge-playing mystery readers. Paperback rights to Berkley. (Jan.)

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