Soap opera writer Deborah Peltz' undeclared war with her sister Sharon is forced into a temporary cease-fire when their mother Lenore suffers a heart attack. Deborah has already been considering some life changing moves, as she is sick of working for her new younger bosses and her NY apartment has just been robbed. Moving down to Florida to start a new career and help take care of her mother seems the logical choice, even if it does mean closer proximity to Sharon.

Despite their declared truce, the dueling sisters find themselves competing for the attention of the same man, their mothers heart specialist, Dr. Jeffrey Hirshon. The night they both show up uninvited at Jeffrey's house proves to be a turning point in their relationship, because suddenly they need each other as an alibi for murder. Someone apparently decided to rid the world of Dr. Hirshon, and according to the police this leaves Deborah and Sharon looking highly suspicious.

While Sharon retreats to Boca Raton with her new attorney, Deborah decides to do some sleuthing. With the help of new friend Ray Scalley, Deborah's inquiries reveal that there were lots of hidden depths to the good doctor. After years of writing convoluted and dramatic soap opera plot lines, Deborah feels uniquely up to the challenge of unraveling a mystery.

Sibling rivalry is taken to new extremes in the latest slightly wacky and very humorous novel by the always-terrific Jane Heller. Don't miss out. (May, 320 pp., $6.99—Hardcover published June 1999)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith