Hardback, ISBN 1-881164-85-3, $17.95
eBook, ISBN 978-1-935722-13-7
Plunge with P.I. Camellia “Mel” Walker and her witty gay pistol-packing partner Johnnie Blake into trouble. Meeting a client in a dark alley, Mel doesn’t expect an ambush. As usual, Mel’s nose for investigation and her pursuit of justice for the deceased Peter Connelly tests her bond with tough, sexy cop X-Ray Ramirez, a former small-time teenage hood Mel’s deceased father (read all about it in COP) took under his wing.
Mel has a way of disregarding crime scene rules that creates an interesting ongoing tension with the police department her deceased father, murdered in the previous book, loved. But Mel, whose nose for justice may soon need surgery by the mysterious Dr. Sarah Reynolds, who she links to the murder through snooping in the dead man’s house, isn’t being disrespectful of law and order. She has a soft spot for underdogs such as Terry Malone, a stripper with a heart of gold who owns the Skin Inn (in a humorous scene, Mel is offered a job and asked “Is you a dyke?”), a connection to Peter Connelly and Peter’s bank-robbing partner Buddy Danko, who also winds up dead. Did we happen to mention Peter Connelly pulled off a bank heist with Buddy and that Mel is looking for the other half of a bond he gave her as payment? Sometimes having a sense of right and wrong makes life too complicated. Particularly when your slimy attorney ex-husband plays the temporary good guy to defend Terry Malone and…without giving away the ending, it was a surprise that plays into a scorned woman’s wish-fulfillment dreams. Spizer knows her craft.
Occasionally, Mel takes a break from murder to help out loyal housekeeper Rosa’s women’s shelter project, deepen her relationship with Texas oilman Lucas Tanner, and even wrestle with crow’s feet and gray hair…plus, the adorable Johnnie falls in love! The cover is striking, designed by writer Raul Melendez (www.raulmelendez.com). In the glut of mysteries, this is a keeper.