Saturday, November 15, 2008

Living the Vida Lola-Misa Ramirez

Living the Vida Lola
Misa Ramirez
St. Martin's, Jan 2009, $24.95
ISBN 9780312384029

In Sacramento Dolores “Lola” Falcon Cruz earns a living as a private investigator. Her current case involves a missing person, responsible forty-two years old Emily Diggs, who failed to pick up her six-year-old son Sean at his school. Everyone Lola spoke with who knew Emily insists she was a good mother who would never commit a negligent act involving her child especially with what happened to her older son.

However, the inquiry turns ugly when Emily's body is found near the Riverbank Marina. Lola continues her investigation, but changes her focus to uncovering the identity of the killer. Sacramento Bee reporter Jack Callaghan informs Lola that a distraught Emily told him that her older son, Garrett died from wht the woman called a “heart infection” that she believed came from an unsanitary tattoo. Lola remains dedicated to catching the culprit using Jack’s tip as a lead by looking perhaps first hand into tattoos and belly-button and other unmentionable body parts piercing.

Never taking itself graveyard serious, this is an entertaining investigative half boiled noir with a touch of romance to spice up the proceedings. Ethical Lola is terrific as a literally and figuratively kick butt heroine who believes she owes her late client so continues her inquiry. You don’t know Jack if you fail to understand that what Lola wants Lola gets, which is a killer, even if that mean a belly button or a nipple ring. Misa Ramirez provides a wonderful first case in what looks like the start of a delightful series.

Harriet Klausner