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Pilikia Is My Business Paperback – August 16, 2011
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The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
...a very good combination of interesting characters and a compelling setting...I'm already eager to read the next one. -- Mary Haywood, Cozies, Capers and Crimes
A must read for fans of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum. Fast-moving plot and snappy dialogue unite in an entertaining story. -- Tracy Farnsworth, Romance Reviews Today
The plot is classic stuff...Val Lyon is an interesting female character...a good, strong debut by a talented author. -- David G. LaGraff, BookPage.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Mark Troy is the author of the Val Lyon private eye series. Val's beat is Honolulu where she deals with the wreckage of human lives in a section of paradise tourists rarely see. "Pilikia Is My Business," the first novel in the series, was published in 2001. It was nominated for a Shamus Award by the Private Eye Writers of America for Best 1st P.I. Novel. Seven short stories in the series feature Val mixing mayhem and sport. "Teed Off," in "Fedora: Private Eyes and Tough Guys," was named one of the 50 Best American Mysteries of 2001 by Otto Penzler and James Ellroy, editors of "Best American Mystery Stories" The most recent Val Lyon story, "Horns," can be read on The Thrilling Detective (http://www.thrillingdetective.com) Another of his short stories, "The Montressor Hit," won the Edgar Allan Poe Sesquicentennial Homage Award by the Short Mystery Fiction Society on the 150th anniversary of Poe's death. Mark is the president-elect of the Brazos Writers, an organization of writers in the College Station/Bryan area of Texas.. He is an active member of The Private Eye Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and the Short Mystery Fiction Society. Born and raised in St. Louis, Mo., Mark lived in Thailand and Hawaii with his wife and sons before moving to Texas. The Troys live in College Station where Mark is Associate Director of Measurement and Research Services at Texas A&M University. Website: http://www.marktroy.net Blog: http://hawaiian-eye.blogspot.com
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Top customer reviews
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If you don't mind that it's an older book, read it! You'll like it!
Part of the wealthy and politically connected Magruder family, Brian is a bit of a black sheep of the family as he has gone his own way. Among his many clients is Jean Pfeifer whose case has turned into a media firestorm. Jean claims that her ex-husband, Jason "Jock" Pfeifer abused their son, Nathan. Jean has stopped the visitations and has hidden their son in an effort to protect him from further abuse from his father. She faces contempt charges and jail time unless she brings Nathan back out of hiding and lets him see his dad. Something she isn't going to do.
This strikes a chord with the media and the viewing public causing a media firestorm with Jean and her attorney at the center of things. Numerous groups get involved making Jean and by extension Nathan part of their agendas. That also ratchets up further the media scrutiny. Brian Magruder initially just wants Val to be part of the security team, and to protect Jean at a public rally the next day. With emotions running high on all sides, something is sure to go bade and it does. Soon, a simple body guard job morphs into a case involving death threat, blackmail, extortion and a missing child as well as the beginnings of a romance between Val and Brian Magruder.
While occasionally reminiscent of the Stephenie Plum type character because Val is also a woman with a sarcastic wit, Val is a much better character. Not only does she have a deeper and more complex background, she also learns from what happens and takes precautions as opposed to Stephanie who makes the same fundamental mistakes in book after book after book. Val is an evolving character over the course of the novel and one that builds quickly on experience.
That fact, coupled with a steady pace, plenty of twists and turns, and characters that come alive for the reader, it is no wonder this book was a Shamus Nominee. It is a very good one.
Kevin R. Tipple (copyright)2009
This particular pilikia begins when a lawyer from a prominent island family hires Val to find the adolescent son of his client, who is being jailed for contempt for failing to produce the boy during a messy custody battle. The mother claims that her ex-husband has abused the boy and that, although she sent him away for his safety, she doesn't know exactly who has him or where he is. Fortunately (or unfortunately) for Val, the mother lets slip the name Harriet, and the hunt is on. Before long, Val finds herself entangled in much more than the search for the missing child. For one thing, people start getting killed, and Val is almost one of them. Then she discovers that the family of the lawyer who hired her has a lot of connections (none of them very pleasant) to the case at hand. It doesn't help any that she also starts falling for her lawyer client.
This is some deep pilikia that Val has to wade out of, but she does so admirably, even if she becomes terribly wounded in the process. One of the most striking things about this book is Val's character, which is complex and intriguing and very realistic. If I didn't know Mark personally, I'd swear he was a woman writing under a male pseudonym, because he has a clear understanding of female characters. The male characters are good, too, but sometimes they seem a little limited by the roles they have to play in the story.
The story line is another of the book's strengths. It is suspenseful and manages to be complex without descending into the sort of confusion that happens when authors just dump cartloads of red herrings wherever they can. Just a tiny bit of what may be a spoiler, however: if you have any more than a passing interest in genetics, you will probably be a few steps ahead of Val once the clues start turning up. That doesn't detract from this great tropical thrill ride, though, and I look forward to reading more of Val's adventures. Before long, I suspect pilikia will be Val's middle name, not just her occupation.
**Adapted from a Skullduggery review**
"Palapala (Writing)Is His Business!"
Usually, my penchant is not for detective novels. However, "Pilikia" has definitely altered my taste. I thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Troy's riveting Hawaiian mystery!
Most impressive was the author's ability to manipulate his interesting cast of characters, allowing the narrative to glide to a suspense filled crescendo. Also, he was able to create his scenes with a minimum of detail. His familiarity with Hawaii enabled him to blend the Island's character and uniqueness into his novel, thereby enhancing the overall setting.
If you're in the market for an interesting and unique mystery read, I definitely recommend Mr. Mark Troy's "PILIKIA IS MY BUSINESS."
Posted by Brad Bradbury