Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ink Flamingoes-Karen E. Olson

Ink Flamingoes
Karen E. Olson
Berkley, Jun 7 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780451233790

In Las Vegas, Brett Kavanaugh owns the upscale tattoo parlor The Painted Lady. After becoming embroiled in homicides (see Driven to Ink and Pretty in Ink), Brett promised her concerned friends and that she would never again investigate a murder. She is unable to keep her pledge when a steady customer Daisy Carmichael, lead singer of the pop group The Flamingoes, is found dead in her hotel room. On the blog Skin Deep, a picture of Daisy appears with a flamingo tattoo that is colored in; Brett knows her late client was allergic to ink colors so her tattoos were all black.

Brett’s brother Tim tells her that a witness saw a red haired woman carrying ink pots and needles leaving the room two hours before the body was found. Brett has an alibi and there are further entries on the blog written by Ainsley Wainwright that have altered pictures of Brett and events that imply the tattoo artist is a killer. Brett realizes she has a stalker following her. She is able to dispute all the evidence with help from her friends, but still needs to know who wants to make it look like she killed the singer; which means investigating.

Karen E. Olson writes an action-packed amateur sleuth who- done-it that stays constantly at the speed of light from start to finish even with a few nice hairpin spins. The audience will enjoy this complex whodunit enhanced by misdirection and a touch of romance with a peer Jeff Coleman who goes the entire Strip and more to help Brett. She realizes she is attracted to her caring competitor. Ink Flamingoes is a strong entry that has sub-genre fans wondering who and why.

Harriet Klausner

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