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Puzzled Heart (Kate Fansler Novels)
by Amanda Cross
ISBN 0345418832 / 9780345418838 / 0-345-41883-2
Publisher Ballantine Books
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Feminist scholar (and senior citizen) Carolyn Heilbrun has been writing and lecturing for years about the unique freedom women gain from being old and thus "invisible" in our culture. Writing under the name of Amanda Cross, she continues to explore this theme in another of her popular academic mysteries featuring feminist professor Kate Fansler. In The Puzzled Heart, Fansler's husband, Reed, has been kidnapped, and the ransom demand requires Kate to give up her left-leaning politics and join the Christian Right. Instead, Kate turns to septuagenarian detective Harriet Furst, a woman whose advanced age allows her to "move about the world unseen" as she gathers clues. It doesn't take long for Harriet to find Reed, but discovering who was behind the kidnapping proves more difficult. In the course of exposing the culprit, Cross entertains her audience with the kind of highly literate, witty writing and outspoken politics that have been hallmarks of Kate Fansler mysteries for the past 30 years. [via]