Monday, December 21, 2009

Hasta la Vista, Lola!-Misa Ramirez

Hasta la Vista, Lola!
Misa Ramirez
Minotaur, Feb 2 2010, $23.95
ISBN: 9780312384036

In Sacramento, California private investigator Lola Cruz visits her parents’ house to find extended family members and friends mourning her death. Apparently, the news reported that the police found her body near the Florin Mall; she had been hammered in the head. A cop arrives at the house to tell the family that their daughter died; as he has a license taken from the deceased with Lola’s information on it.

The victim is Rosie Gonzales, an identity thief. Lola and her boyfriend, Sacramento Bee reporter Jack Callaghan find out that Rosie had pretended to be Lola for at least six months. Unable to resist, Lola makes further inquiries trying to learn why Rosie took her identity but apparently did not steal anything financial from her. In between restaurant gigs at her parents place, Lola soon finds a link to her odious former boyfriend Sergio Garcia and that the dead woman has a child missing somewhere in the city who the sleuth wants to find.

The second Cruz whodunit (see Living the Vida Lola) is an engaging Mexican-American mystery with an insightful focus on identity theft. The story line is fast-paced from the moment Lola shows up at her grief “party” and never slows down though the murder investigation takes a back seat to the romance between Lola and noncommittal Jack. Still this is a wonderful tale as Lola’s escapades are fun to follow even when the action is low key.

Harriet Klausner