Books: Golden Slippers

VICTORINE (380-pp.)—Frances Parkinson Keyes—Messner ($4.50).

When Author Keyes showed Victorine's first chapters to her British publisher, he came back with: "I am very much pleased with your mise-en-scène. However, I'd like it a little more bloodcurdling. Couldn't you have a murder in the rice fields?"

Author Keyes could not. Fiction, as she suggests in her preface, must not be completely fictitious, and murders are "not rampant or even frequent" in Louisiana rice fields. So, instead, Author Keyes has made her tale turn on a murder in a rice bin. The victim is a fictional cabaret singer named Titine...

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