Kensington, May 2008, $22.00
The Skeleton Key Three are a paparazzi’s dream as the ultra wealthy and super thin wild party-goers are always good for a salacious headline. Tiffy and her pals Bunny and Kiki always create the scene. Recently seen hanging around the trio is non-affluent teenager Daisy O’Neil who her new “buddies” treat her lower than dirt. Tiffy and Daisy try out for a movie role, but the latter gets the part. A raging Tiffy plans to retaliate; just prior to rehearsals Daisy vanishes. Her concerned mother pressures the police to start with the Skeleton Key Three in their missing person’s search.
San Carmelita Detective Dirk Coulter catches the case, but he “cons” his friend private investigator Savannah Reid into helping him. After talking to the Skeleton Key Three, both believe that the trio is involved in Daisy’s vanishing. However every lead they follow leads only to a dead end. However during the Daisy investigation while at Tiffy’s Mcmansion, they find her father lying dead with a stake in his heart in a coffin that is part of a Halloween party decoration. They discover a bullet in his chest. Both the private sleuth and city cop are more determined to solve the two cases hopefully with a live Daisy.
The inquiries are well written so the audience will enjoy tagging along with the two detectives. However the fresh fun in POISONED TARTS come with the appearance of Granny Reid, a colorful character who has been lovingly mentioned by her granddaughter for years, but now has shown up in California in the first person for the first time. THE SKELTON KEY THREE are ultra spoiled with their only interest being self hedonism; readers will find no redeeming qualities amidst these rich bi*ches. It is obvious they are involved in Daisy’s disappearance and Tiffy has a motive, but is she the one who remains the mystery.