When wealthy octogenarian Nord Lafferty hires Kinsey Millhone to help his newly paroled daughter find her way back to the straight and narrow after doing time for embezzlement, the Santa Teresa P.I. has no idea what she's getting into. Reba Lafferty's ex-boss, land developer Alan Beckwith, is the man who sent her to prison--so how come she's meeting him just hours after her release, and treating Kinsey to an X-rated reunion scene played out in his parked Mercedes? And why is he also playing sex games with Reba's formerly best friend, who still works for him? A visit from an old friend from the FBI clears up the mystery--Beckwith is suspected of running a money-laundering game, and they need Reba to make their case by rolling over on him. Its not until Millhone presents Reba with photographic evidence of Beckwith's two-timing that she agrees to do what the Feds want... but she'll only do it her way, which could get a lot of people killed. Grafton fleshes out this well-crafted thriller with a romantic subplot involving a romantic triangle that features Kinsey's elderly landlord Henry, his brother, and a vivacious widow who can't seem to choose between them. It doesn't add much to the plot, but the fans of this evergreen series (who must be wondering what will happen to Millhone when Grafton gets to the end of the alphabet) probably won't mind a bit. --Jane Adams
From Publishers Weekly
Bestseller Grafton offers more of the same-old same-old in her less-than-inspired 18th Kinsey Millhone novel (after 2002's Q Is for Quarry
). In this sexy adventure, the spunky hard-boiled detective has to escort the newly paroled Reba Lafferty, privileged ne'er-do-well, to her stately home, keeping her on the straight and narrow. Reba challenges the PI with her barely concealed hankerings for the now off-limits booze, gambling and charming Alan Beckwith, married real estate developer and former employer for whom Reba took a two-year barbwire vacation courtesy of the California Institution for Women. Lust is in the air as studly, stylish cop Cheney Phillips enters in his red Mercedes, fanning the flames with Kinsey, when Beckwith's activities catch the eye of the feds. Kinsey lends a supportive ear to her beloved 87-year-old landlord, smitten by a 70-year-old neighbor. Kinsey and Reba team up to get the goods on Beckwith, but reckless Reba has vengeful ideas of her own and more than once lands their collective fat in the fire. If the chemistry between Cheney and Kinsey seems forced at times, Grafton as usual creates believable and enduring characters and a strong sense of place in her town of Santa Teresa circa 1987. And that should be more than enough for most fans.
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