Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Steve Hockensmith with Lisa Falco, Fool Me Once

Steve Hockensmith with Lisa Falco, Fool Me Once
Midnight Ink © 2015 Steve Hockensmith & Lisa Falco
ISBN 978-0-7387-4223-6

In the follow-up to 2014’s The White Magic Five and Dine, Alanis McLachlan is continuing her effort to use her inheritance of The White Magic Five and Dime (in Berdache, AZ) to pay back all—or as many of them as she can find—the people swindled by her mother…who has more names than the population of Berdache.  Mom was a con-woman, who, with her partner Biddle, moved frequently (so Alanis moved frequently until she broke away), finally ending up, and dying in Arizona.  This is not an inheritance Alanis is very happy about; she was also surprised to discover that she has a much younger half-sister, Clarice (who’s still in high school).

As this book opens, Alanis has been trying to do two things:  Pay back Marsha Riggs and help her develop enough self-confidence to leave her abusive husband Billy.  Things immediately go wrong—Billy is murdered, and Marsha is arrested for the crime.  So now, Alanis has to try to find the real killer and help Marsha turn her life around.  In this undertaking she has the assistance (willing or not) of three men:  Her lawyer Eugene, whom she has hired to defend Marsha; her friend Victor (high school teacher and wresting coach), who is very fond of Alanis, but also very conventional/conservative; and George Washington Fletcher (GW to his friends, who may (or may not) be living outside the law.

And the first step is to try to determine what Billy was into that could have gotten him killed.  The second is to make contact with a killer-for-hire (whom Marsha has been in email contact with).  And try to keep The White Dime in business.  The investigation leads her to break into the Riggs home (Billy’s dead and Marsha’s in jail), with GW’s assistance, to look for clues; to try, also (with Victor’s help) to figure out what sort of scam is going on at the resort community development where Billy worked as a salesman; and figure out what’s going on in her own personal life.  With Clarice’s help, she locates the killer (and that’s an interesting adventure). 

I enjoyed the ride, although the digressions (as far as I was concerned) into Tarot readings were too frequent and didn’t really seem to advance the story very much.  And the third in the series came out earlier this year (Give the Devil His Due, which I read out of order, and reviewed.   So far this is a strong beginning to what might become a long-lasting series. 

No comments:

Post a Comment