From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. In Karp's excellent fourth mystery featuring LAPD detectives Mike Lomax and Terry Biggs (after 2009's Flipping Out), the pair look into the stabbing death of British citizen Eleanor Bellingham-Crump, who escaped prosecution for killing a 10-year-old boy while driving drunk by virtue of her husband's diplomatic immunity. The killer left a scrapbook at the scene detailing the circumstances of Bellingham-Crump's crime. The FBI fills the detectives in on two other murders, apparently by the same killer, a vigilante targeting criminals who managed to evade justice. The investigators luck out when a lead takes them to Gladys Wade, an inmate who claims to know the murderer's identity and wants to barter that secret for her parole. Karp offers multiple twists that will keep most readers guessing until the end, and balances the grim plot with Biggs's inexhaustible supply of genuinely humorous one-liners. Kinky Friedman and Carl Hiaasen fans should latch onto this series. (June)
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Here’s something we’ve never seen in crime fiction: a hard-boiled scrapbooking mystery. Karp’s fourth Lomax and Biggs novel (following Flipping Out, 2009) finds the L.A. detectives struggling with a baffling case involving the murder of some certifiable bad guys by a vigilante who leaves scrapbooks at the crime scenes detailing the victims’ numerous malfeasances. With the help of an incarcerated woman who claims to have encountered a scrapbooking fellow inmate with revenge on her mind, the trail leads directly to the presumed killer. But are the detectives being hoodwinked? As usual in this uproarious series, the emphasis is as much on comedy as it is on crime, and this time there’s plenty to work with: Biggs, the king of the one-liner, has his sights set on a screenwriting career, working in tandem with Lomax’s equally wacky father, and Lomax and steady girlfriend Diana are babysitting a precocious Asian girl, who may be able to match Biggs quip for quip. The plot gets a little screwy in the end, but that seems right for a novel that is half mystery and half screwball comedy. Somehow Karp keeps the two in perfect balance. --Bill Ott
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