Gene Lyons
December 20, 1996 AT 05:00 AM EST

Worst Case Scenario

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Michael Bowen
publisher
Crown
genre
Fiction, Mystery and Thriller

We gave it a B+

Based upon the premise that almost everybody in official and semi-official Washington, D.C., is a two-faced, duplicitous weasel capable of using homicide as a career strategy, Worst Case Scenario is an old-fashioned locked-door murder mystery filled with dry wit and shrewd deduction. Michael Bowen’s sleuth is a casually brilliant former diplomat named Richard Michaelson. When an eager political job seeker turns up dead in her hotel room in West Virginia, Michaelson and his equally erudite lady friend, Connecticut Avenue bookstore proprietor Marjorie Randolph, suspect that the local police are in over their heads. The two set about deciphering a series of literary acrostic-style clues until the guilty politico is unmasked. Brittle but charming. B+

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