The Unkindest Cut
by Honor Hartman


Obsidian, 2008. ISBN 978-0-451-22436-1.
Reviewed by Penny Appleby
Posted on 06/20/2008

Fiction: Mystery

The combination of mystery and bridge in this book was irresitible. As an avid mystery reader and a member of a bridge club, I was curious to see how these two would work together. My curiosity was rewarded with a delightful read. And to top it off, the mystery is set in the Texas Hill Country—another favorite.

Emma Diamond (what else?) is the curious amateur sleuth who, recently widowed, has the time to indulge her curiosity. The murder occurs at a weekend brige retreat, so it has that Agatha Christie Mousetrap feel to it. Emma has an outgoing personality that encourages others to want to talk to her, so she is able to discover significant clues. However, as any bridge player can tell you, you never know what's going to happen until the hand is played out. So it is with Emma and her curiosity: she has to follow first one clue, then another, until the last one reveals the mystery.

Bridge players will enjoy this book because there is enough bridge playing to provide some helpful tips. Emma also provides additional tips at the end of the story. This is the second book in this series—I now want to go back and read the first book, On the Slam.


Honor Hartman is a pseudonym of Dean James who, in addition to playing bridge as often as possible, is associated with the wonderful Murder By the Book store in Houston.

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