Books: Character Witness

TALES OF MANHATTAN by Louis Auchincloss. 304 pages. Houghfon Mifflin. $4.95.

Readers resort to Louis Auchincloss with much the same misgivings that sensible men feel when they resort to the law. A New York lawyer as well as an author, he has the distinction of inventing fictional clients who write their own verdict of guilty—"guilty with an explanation," as they say in day court. Moreover, their usual character witness—Auchincloss himself—is the kind who lets the cat out of the bag and the client into the pen.

The tales in Tales of Manhattan are based...

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