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Cool Cache: A Tucker Sinclair Mystery (Tucker Sinclair Mysteries) Hardcover – June 3, 2008
This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, "The Lying Game." See more
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From Publishers Weekly
Death and chocolate in Beverly Hills sounds like a delicious way to die, but it's an unfortunate combo for Lupe Ortiz, a Latina cleaning lady, in Smiley's appealing fourth Tucker Sinclair sleuthfest (after 2007's Short Change). Tucker, a marketing expert, finds Lupe's body in the bathroom of Nectar, a new gourmet chocolate shop owned by a client of Tucker's. A quetzal feather left by the corpse, a signature of the MayaBoyz, points to Lupe's son Roberto, who belongs to the East L.A. gang, as the prime suspect. Doubtful of Roberto's guilt, Tucker asks her PI friend, Charley Tate, to investigate. Her overeager assistant, Eugene Barstok, also gets involved, but causes dismay when he disappears while undercover. Smiley fills this chocolate-enriched puzzler with touristy L.A. intel, while Tucker's no-nonsense first-person narration keeps the pages turning despite a predictable ending. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Patricia Smiley participates in the mystery author blog nakedauthors.com with such mystery authors as Cornelia Read and Jacqueline Winspear. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
The writing is well done. The setting is good, and the characters are working their way into full-fledged characters that I might see as "imaginary real".
The plot was just average, I'm sad to say. Not that the writing was bad, but I was pretty spot on predicting what would happen. But don't let that stop you from reading it. I read A LOT, so some authors I'm good at guessing where they are going and who the killer is. Other's I've got no clue until they tell me.
I'm hoping for another episode in this series, because I like the main character's job, and how that is weaved into the plot. That's a key for me when I'm looking for a new author.
Authors with the ability to interject real word business information into entertaining "who-done-its" are rare and Patricia Smiley has clearly joined their ranks. While this book is certainly not a business tutorial I do find books that provide insight into different businesses to be particularly enjoyable.
In this book Tucker becomes involved in both retail chocolate and the dating business while tracking down a murderer, and her missing assistant. Mix in some interesting slices of LA life and the continued development of a wonderful supporting cast and you have a great addition to the Tucker Sinclair series. This book is my favorite of the series to date and I can't wait for the next installment.
Tucker Sinclair and Associates is a business-consulting firm, although the only "associate" besides Tucker is her male "executive assistant," Eugene. Keeping a close eye on her clients brings Tucker into a murder case involving a client, an upscale chocolatier in Beverly Hills, and a quirky clue, a rare green Quetzal feather, native to Guatemala, and symbol of an East Los Angeles gang. The narrative quickly gets more complex when Eugene decides to go undercover, sucking poor Tucker into the case, despite her best intentions to stay out of it.
So many things keep this mystery (and others in the series) from being banal, or a run-of-the-mill cozy. Smiley pulls in sub-plots about gang activity, stolen antiquities from Guatemala, and (besides the awe-inspiring candy) a role reversal, gender-wise, as Tucker is soon riding to the rescue of her intrepid male assistant. Woman to the Rescue! This is the fourth book in the series, yet, even though a part of a series, each book stands alone magnificently.
I would have loved to see a recipe or two in the book for making chocolates--but of course, I still recommend this book highly. It treats the readers intelligently, addresses awkward subject matter, and stays within the bounds of the rules of cozies with its amateur detectives, clever plot twists and dynamic dialog and characterizations. Cool Cache is certainly perfect reading for a hot summer day or for a cool spring evening!
by Laura Strathman Hulka
for Story Circle Book Reviews
reviewing books by, for, and about women
This is engaging if standard fare. What sets Cool Cache apart is Tucker's very real persona fraught with doubts, decisions, and lost love. The character is so genuine and appealing you want to ring her up at her beachside home and arrange lunch at a Santa Monica bistro or an Inglewood taco stand. And that's the other Smiley trademark - knowledge of the Southern California scene from geography, to history, to the LA attitude. You almost need sunglasses and tanning lotion when you read a Smiley novel. For sure you need to fasten your seat belt.
Cool Cache shows us a more somber Tucker Sinclair than we've seen previously, but she's all the more believable for it. If you can't cruise the barrio, the beach and Rodeo Drive yourself, this book is the next best thing. And if you can visit those places, get the book anyway. Tucker Sinclair is just too much fun to miss.
Add the disappearance of her assistant to the mix and Tucker has more to chew on than a bon bon. Presumably, her assistant has taken it upon himself to solve the mystery despite being admonished to say in the office.
Well-paced, and cleverly contrived, the novel is a breezy read. It holds up well, with suspense right up to the end. A light and enjoyable read, and recommended.