Friday, December 16, 2011

Sticks and Stones-K.J. Larsen

Sticks and Stones

K.J. Larsen

Poisoned Pen, Feb 7 2012, $24.95

ISBN 9781590589236

Cleo Jones files for divorce from her cheating spouse Walter who was caught in a tryst with her sister Hotlip the Ho. She shot her husband in the butt with buckshot; while he took her Tibetan terrier Beau, her money and of course her sibling when he went aground.

After previously hiring Chicago-based Pants on Fire Detective Agency private investigator Caterina DeLuca to find who Walter cheated with, Cleo joins Cat to hunt down the cheater in order to regain her dog and what is left of her money. Cat and Cleo enter the suburban house where Walter has hidden. Instead of confronting the felonious blackmailing rat, they find him dead; his body warm. The police arrive at the scene in time to arrest Cleo for murdering her estranged husband. Cat investigates with the help of her FBI agent lover Chance Savino and some friends while concealing Cleo who is out on bail.

The latest DeLuca private investigative tale (see Liar, Liar) is a zany (not the Gingrich variety of zany) jocular thriller. The case against Cleo is a staple of the genre, but the eccentric cast brings an amusing freshness to the mix. Readers will enjoy DeLuca’s second case as the Larsen sisterhood provides an amusing whodunit.

Harriet Klausner

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