WINTER HOUSE, by Carol O’Connell

9/series. The ancestral Winter brownstone in New York City was designed for grand poses and fabulous parties, so the body of a seedy burglar at the foot of the stairs just doesn’t fit in. NYPD Detective Kathy Mallory, as ever suspicious and relying on her knife-sharp intuition, notices the precise placement of an icepick, and recalls another icepick mass murder involving the Winter clan. With Riker, her alcohol-soaked, wardrobe-challenged sidekick and Charles Butler, her adoring assistant and secret business partner, Mallory (never call her Kathy) and her odd assortment of friends figure it all out. As usual, this psychologically-torturous novel is a great example of stellar writing and plotting: a 5.