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In the fourth entry in McCullough's Carmen Delmonico series, set in the 1960s university town of Holloman, Connecticut, a deadly toxin extracted from blowfish is stolen from the lab of biochemist Millie Hunter. Then John Hall, long-lost son of university-press printer Max Turnbull and an old friend of Millie and her biochemist husband, Jim Hunter, is poisoned at a small dinner party. A day later, new university head scholar Thomas Tinkerman, a religious zealot who opposes the publication of Jim Hunter's potentially best-selling book, joins the victim list. Two more murders follow, and while police captain Delmonico and his detectives suspect Jim a black man renowned in his field who has struggled with his interracial marriage to Millie, his soul mate since they met at the age of 15 there is not enough evidence to charge him. In her enthusiastic style (studded with exclamation points!), McCullough delves into small-town intrigue with well-defined characters and vivid descriptions, from food to fashion. Short on suspense but entertaining nonetheless.--Leber, Michele Copyright 2010 Booklist

Publishers Weekly
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In the prologue of McCullough's disappointing fourth novel featuring Capt. Carmine Delmonico of the Holloman, Conn., police department (after 2010's Naked Cruelty), John Hall, a long-lost heir recently arrived from Oregon, dies from a lethal injection of a stolen toxin at a black-tie family party held on the evening of January 3, 1969. Delmonico, who investigates Hall's murder and two other grisly poisoning deaths, has a personal interest in the crime-his medical examiner cousin's daughter was the keeper of the pilfered poison. Suspects include relatives who were slated to lose large amounts of money from Hall's reappearance as well as ambitious faculty members from the town's Chubb University. A far-fetched premise, lengthy passages of exposition, unconvincing characters and dialogue, and a lack of attention to accurate period detail will cause the reader to lose interest well before the end. Agent: Michael Carlisle, Inkwell Management. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

A toxin stolen from the university's lab spells murder for fellow scientists. Capt. Delmonico's team knows that brilliant professors can take diabolical actions. The fourth case for the Connecticut-set police procedural series (after Naked Cruelty). (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.