Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Talent for Murder-R.T. Jordan

A Talent for Murder
R.T. Jordan
Kensington, May 26 2009, $22.00
ISBN: 0758229372

Polly Pepper was a Hollywood icon to baby boomers with her own musical-comedy variety show reminiscent of Carol Burnett. That was then. Now she lives at her luxurious Bel Air estate Pepper Plantation with her son Timmy and her maid Placenta. She yearns to get back in the spotlight so she accepts a job as the nice judge on the new reality show I’ll Do Anything to Become Famous. The premise is that six contestants will perform, lie, scheme and plant dirty tricks on one another to win the grand prize.

The nasty judge is Thane Cornwall who on the opening show rips each contestant apart, making them feel worthless; some cry while others seethe with rage inside. Thane fails to arrive for the second show so the producer sends his assistant Lisa to find him. Inside his home, his maid sees Lisa holding a knife while standing over Thane’s bloody body. She calls the police who arrest Lisa. Polly visits Lisa in jail and concludes the assistant is innocent in spite of the overwhelming incriminating evidence. A second corpse, this time a contestant, is found in Polly’s estate. She links the two homicides though not knowing why beyond the show, but a pit bull stubborn Polly investigates following a scent that could lead to her being the next victim.

Polly Pepper is an eccentric corker who readers will adore due to her cute habit of dropping the names of Hollywood stars along with her bubbly spunky outlook. The contests prove they would do anything even kill to win so Polly immediately suspects one of that group to be the murderer. Timmy and Placenta add comedic relief as Polly is no Hollywood mom when it comes to raising her son and is a friend with her maid. R.T. Jordan provides an entertaining amateur sleuth.

Harriet Klausner