BRUSHING UP ON MURDER Crossword editor Belle graham has just spent a picture-perfect spring day with her new friend Karen when they discover that Karen's husband, Dan, has been kidnapped. Neither Belle nor her PI hubby Rosco have met Doctor Dan, but his reputation as a successful oral surgeon and upstanding community member precedes him. Adding to Karen's worries are verbal threats made against her daughter that seem to mirror a series of nursery rhyme-themed crosswords being sent to Belle.

Tragically, Karen's fear turns to grief when her husband's body is found torched in his prized Corvette at the bottom of a ravine. But as Rosco investigates, he learns that the dead man had a very dark side--hiding an extramarital affair and a penchant for blackmail--and Dan's charity cases might have been something much more sinister. Even as the investigation begins to expose Karen's own disturbing past, Belle must wonder: Just who were Dan and Karen? And more important, who wanted Dan dead?