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Putting Lipstick on a Pig: A Rep & Melissa Pennyworth Mystery (Rep & Melissa Pennyworth Series Book 3) Kindle Edition

3.6 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Length: 257 pages
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

At the start of Bowen's winning third mystery to feature Rep and Melissa Pennyworth (after 2004's Unforced Error), the couple have moved to Milwaukee, Wis., where Melissa has taken a university job and Rep has opened a branch office for his Indiana law firm. When Rep hears of the untimely death of despised attorney Vance Hayes, he's not particularly remorseful, but is shocked when Mackenzie "Ken" Stewart asks him to deliver the eulogy. Rep complies out of respect for Stewart, a well-connected legal eagle who can funnel work to Rep's new office. Almost two years later, Rep is pulled into a strange case involving doctored photographs for a client with ties to Hayes. Rep is soon caught up in a bizarre series of events with too many coincidences and menacing foes. When Melissa tries to help and is nearly killed, Rep is no longer sure whom he can trust. Bowen effectively captures his Midwestern locale and takes readers on a fast-paced, exciting ride. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Intellectual banter remains the key appeal in this third entry in the Rep and Melissa Pennyworth series. Having taken on Kansas City in Unforced Error (2004), the Midwest-trotting couple find themselves in Milwaukee when Rep is asked to deliver the eulogy for a fellow member of the bar, Vance Hayes, a very unpopular fellow who appears to have finally received his comeuppance. Likable copyright attorney Rep turns sleuth when he stumbles on the fact that Hayes' travels to Asia may have led to his murder. Clean plotting, combined with the marital repartee, makes this a solid winner. Mary Frances Wilkens
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 423 KB
  • Print Length: 257 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 159058287X
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press (June 17, 2011)
  • Publication Date: June 17, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0056NX1O8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,244,574 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Rep Pennyworth does a favor for a friend. He delivers the eulogy at the funeral of Vance Hayes, the epitome of many negative connotations associated with lawyers. Rep acts as Sue Key's lawyer in a very low-level case, which somehow seems to be tied to Hayes's death. The connections back to Vietnam remind one of Dymmoch's WHITE TIGER, although what the two writers do with the connection is totally different

PUTTING LIPSTICK ON A PIG traces Rep's investigations into Keys family, some possibly Mafia-connected [...] peddlers, and a case which Hayes was scheduled to argue before the Supreme Court. Rep and his wife Melissa are in the process of moving from Indiana to Wisconsin, so there are some cultural adjustments being made while the case unfolds. Indianapolis winters just don't have the same ambience as Wisconsin deer season, for starters.

Bowen has a great feel for characters, able to make them visual in a reader's head with an economy of words. His ability to write about setting is just as good. Bowen's plots leave nothing to be desired, convoluted as one reads but able to be fairly clearly spelled out at the denouement. PUTTING LIPSTICK ON A PIG is a pleasure to read, with several laugh-out-loud moments in the middle of the seriousness.
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Format: Hardcover
Attorney Mackenzie Stewart calls Indiana lawyer Reppert "Rep" Pennyworth with bad news that peer Vance Hayes is dead. Seriously responding Rep asks Mac what is the bad news; as serious, Mac informs Rep that Vance had selected him to do the eulogy. Rep tells his wife Melissa he detested the nasty odious Vance, who tried to destroy Rep's legal career. Rep learns that Vance died when his snowmobile broke through thin ice in the Wisconsin Dells. Law enforcement assumes Hayes committed unconscious suicide because of an inability to cope with diabetes.

Two years later Rep is in Milwaukee looking into whether his Indianapolis based law firm should open an office here. Colleague Walt Kuchinski sends Vietnamese-American court reporter Sue Key to him over a photo of her in a calendar "Pretty Girls Smoking Cigarettes; the woman insists she agreed to the picture, but the background was altered to make it look like she smokes, which she never has. A letter signed by Vance to Sue's mom mentioning Kuchinski opens Rep's eyes as it sounds like the dead rat did a nice thing. Intrigued he takes Sue's case that leads to the heart of Milwaukee's Hmong community, but soon uncovers evidence that Hayes was murdered because of doing that good deed.

This is a fascinating Pennyworth legal thriller that though it has deep interesting insight into trademark and copyright law and litigation, in many ways is more an investigative thriller. Rep feels some guilt as his lousy eulogy two years before the Key case haunts him though he believes his words fit the nasty Hayes. The whodunit contains terrific icy twists that will send readers spinning for his two previous appearances (see SCREENSCAM and UNFORCED ERROR).

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm surprised these snobbish intellectuals would even let themselves say such a down-home country truism as the title of this book. It can be interesting if one person has a "funny" way of talking, but when all the characters do it must because the author is obviously doing all the talking. There aren't really any characters here, just one person using his voice for all of them. And in the long run, I couldn't understand a thing these people were talking about.

The hero is an attorney and his wife is a college English professor and they understand each others jokes and obscure references without having to look them up on Wikipedia. I guess the author wants us to know how smart they, and therefore he, truly are. They are so smart they can see devilish crime hints where no one else can and turn it into a murder investigation where there was not murder suspected.

What is amazing is the author took a story that wasn't a story and made a whole book out of it, linking clues that were not connected into something only they could understand. It only makes sense when read in reverse. Too bad, I wanted to like the characters but they were so unreal it became a chore to try to see them as real people.

I like stories about rich snobby people as much as anyone but these people weren't rich and snobby--they just thought they were but kept talking about how they weren't. In the end, you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear and putting lipstick on a pig still won't make it a good story. This pig still stinks.
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Format: Hardcover
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (7/06)

"Putting Lipstick on a Pig" is a humorous, adventurous mystery that takes you for a fun ride along the unexpected twists in the plot. Husband and wife team Rep and Melissa Pennyworth are trying to find the connection between a disliked, dead attorney named Vance Hayes and an Asian-American court reporter named Sue Key.

Along the way, they discover that they cannot trust everyone that they thought they could. Both of their lives become endangered. Melissa realizes what levels she is willing to go to, to keep her husband alive and to stay alive herself.

The characters in this story are well developed. Many of them are likeable and have a lot of character. The ones that aren't likeable, really aren't likeable. This is a fun story with a lot of humor. The camaraderie between Rep and his associates is enjoyable. His relationship with his wife is one that you enjoy reading. They have a lot of fun together while solving this case.

This is the third book in a series about this couple. I have not read the other two yet, but I plan to. It is not necessary to have read the other ones first to understand what is going on, but this one was so enjoyable, I want to read more of the adventures with Rep and Melissa. This is a great book for all to read. It would be really fun to for a readers group to cover. It is an enjoyable escape!

Received book free of charge.
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