Books: The Way to Treat a Lady

MRS. HARRIS: THE DEATH OF THE SCARSCALE DIET DOCTOR

by Diana Trilling; Harcourt Brace Jovanovich; 341 pages; $14.95

The killing of Dr. Herman Tarnower by Jean Harris was—in current parlance—an "upscale" crime. Accordingly, three upscale women were contracted to write books about it. Shana Alexander and Lally Weymouth are journalists with good exposure and better connections. Diana Trilling is a redoubtable essayist whose clear thinking and case-hardened prose have cut through much of the intellectual and political lard of the past 40 years.

The betting was that Trilling, 76, would turn out the most...

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