The Con Artist of Catalina Island
Tessera Books, Nov 2007, $22.95
In Los Angeles, identical twins Kerry and Terry McAfee are tall red-heads who enjoy riding their respective pink bikes on the highways. The two professional sleuths own and operate Double Indemnity Investigations. However they are as dissimilar a pair of sisters one can find. Whereas Terry is a former cocaine user who has done time for possession Kerry is a college grad who appreciates men with a sense of humor.
The siblings look forward to vacationing with family members on Catalina Island for their Christmas holiday. However, upon checking in at the hotel, they learn their room was previous occupied by newlyweds, who were publicly arguing until the bride vanished along with her apparently valuable rare green diamond ring. Soon afterward the murdered corpse of diving instructor is found floating in nearby Avalon Bay. Unable to resist, the twins begin investigating only to find the sheriff angry with their intrusion into the official inquiry, a stalker turning up everywhere yet just out of reach, and a death threat for intruding in a situation that has its roots in an African diamond mine. That is when they are not hunting for a toothless poodle that ran away from the family.
This fourth McAfee investigative tale (see The Vampire of Venice Beach, The Butcher of Beverly Hills and The Mangler of Malibu Canyon; none read by this reviewer) is an amusing young adult combo whodunit family drama. The siblings are fabulous to follow as they seek romance in their own way while dealing with their relatives especially Aunt Reba’s tryst haunting everyone, and finally a missing person and a homicide. Life is normal for Kerry and Terry as their vacation turns out the way their work time is, handling a difficult case that will most likely not help their bank accounts.