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Posted December 9, 2008
<P>Her father cheated on her mother usually with someone they knew. Finally, her mother could not take anymore. She murdered him and killed herself. Their daughter, St. Louis Gazette columnist Francesca Vierlong, is afraid of marriage. When her boyfriend Lyle proposes, she turns him down even though she loves him. To keep the pain of losing him at bay, she buries herself at work by covering two stories at the same time. One story involves a missing stripper while the other concerns a serial killer. <P>Francesca profiles the Heart Desire¿s Night Club gorgeous stripper Jack ¿Leo Ds Nardo¿ Hegenbaum for one of her columns. To her surprise, Francesca has a good time feasting her eyes on the stud muffin. When she calls him to ask a few remaining questions, she learns he has vanished. The last person to apparently have seen Jack was a homeless elderly lady. While she cannot help Jack, Francesca begins an active search to uncover the identity of the DOC IN THE BOX KILLER. In spite of her frantic activity, Francesca cannot remove Lyle from her heart. <P>The charm behind this novel is the heroine¿s inquiries into her two opposite type cases. One is a bit of fluff while the other is a deadly criminal investigative piece. Both share the need for Francesca to bury her aching heart. Although the quality of her previous works is quite high, Elaine Viets seems to improve as a writer who can create a unique, effervescent synergy that freshens up the amateur sleuth mystery genre. <P>Harriet Klausner
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Posted July 9, 2012
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