June 19, 1978 12:00 PM

by Richard Barth

Margaret Binton, an elderly widow, works as a volunteer at a center for New York’s street people. When Sarah Feiner, a shopping bag lady, is found murdered, the police question Margaret, who then goes undercover to help find the killer. The novel gets off to an uneven start, but the plotting—a vicious gang brings in cocaine from Latin America—is nicely worked out. When Sarah’s killer takes off after Margaret through New York’s Museum of Natural History and a subway, the thrills are vivid, and the book takes off too. (Dial, $6.95)

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