Thursday, April 19, 2012

Tote Bags and Toe Tags-Dorothy Howell

Tote Bags and Toe Tags

Dorothy Howell

Kensington, May 29 2012, $23.00

ISBN 9780758253323

In Los Angeles, Haley Randolph excitedly tells her BFF Marcie Hanover that she graduated from UM. Haley’s boyfriend Ty Cameron of the Holt Corporation arrives. Marcie informs him that Haley graduated from UM. Ty’s co-worker (and Haley’s rival) Sarah Covington is stunned to learn she got a degree from Michigan. Haley fails to correct them that UM stands for the University of Mixology. Ty arranges a celebration attended by friends and family. Sarah arranges for her to get a job with benefits at Dempsey Rowland assuming she clears the security background check.

On her first day on the job, Haley finds security chief Violet Hamilton dead in the office of her supervisor Constance Addison. While Constance screams at her accusing her of murder and messing up her office, Haley calmly calls 911. Making matters worse LAPD Detectives Madison and Shuman lead the investigation; Haley has a suspect history with the former. Knowing she has a motive and distrusting the cops to focus on anyone else, Haley investigates for a designer bag and the real killer who has murdered again.

The latest Haley Randolph amateur sleuth (see Clutches and Curses, Purses and Poison, and Handbags and Homicides) is a zany affair as she learns the Fixx is right that “one thing leads to another.” The storyline is fast-paced and seems on the edge of out of control, but Dorothy Howell keeps it amusingly going. Filled with humor, fans will enjoy Haley’s latest corpse finding as she asserts that Sir Walter Scott is right when he wrote in Marmion “Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.”

Harriet Klausner

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