Sunday, February 1, 2009

One Hot Mess-Lois Greiman

One Hot Mess
Lois Greiman
Dell, Mar 24 2009, $6.99
ISBN: 9780440244776

Los Angeles psychologist Christina McMullen has a thriving practice with eccentric patients, but it is her on again and off again relationship with LAPD lieutenant Jack Rivera that drives her crazy. Christina is surprised when Jack’s estranged father former Senator Miguel calls her. He asks her to investigate the death of Kathleen Baltimore to learn if it was accidental. Miguel bribes Christina with the money to purchase a desperately needed new septic tank.

Jack and Christina are going at it hot and heavy when the doorbell intercedes; Miguel enters. Jack knows his father is a womanizer and walks out of the room livid. Christina asks Miguel to explain why he is not going to the police; he explains he needs to avoid a scandal as he plans to run for president. The shrink does an internet run on recent odd deaths and finds a picture of Carnell Ortez with Miguel. Three more are found all on different days of the week. The psychologist wonders if someone with a grudge against Miguel is taking it out on his women. Trying to uncover who the killer is could get Christina killed unless Jack gets to her first.

Lois Greiman provides her fans with a breezy amateur sleuth mystery filled with humor, intrigue and interesting characters all wrapped inside a solid whodunit. Christina takes on the inquiry though she knows it will probably turn her relationship switch with Jack to the off position. As with her “Un” cases (see UNMANNED, UNSCREWED, and UNPLUGGED), the heroine is determined to identify the killer; in this case because she took cash from the senator. Although the senator’s motive for choosing an amateur, even a successful sleuth, of avoiding a scandal with the stakes so high does not cut it; fans will enjoy the latest Christina caper as the sparks with Jack seem real enhancing a fun investigative tale.

Harriet Klausner