Calling for a Funeral

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A stalwart, more serious heroine from the creator of Stella the Stargazer (Dead on Her Feet, 1999, etc.). When her college friend Helene Foster offers her a job in Denver, Francie Starzel jumps at the chance to get away from her family, whose business is crime. But when Helene suddenly fires her and then turns up dead in her trunk, Francie fears she's headed for jail. Handsome Detective Dominic Wolfe warns her she's the prime suspect. Though she's attracted to Wolfe, her family has trained her to never trust the police, so she investigates on her own. At Techlaw Inc., the wife of Helene's partner Harris Bruckner was having an affair with Helene's husband Stewart, and the company lawyer may have been cooking the books. Francie's predecessor, Julia Orbach, drove off a cliff, and her aunt Rosie, a cleaning woman at Techlaw, is sure she was murdered. Just to liven things up, Francie's soon-to-be-adopted son Mac purloins her gun and accidentally discharges it at a pre-funeral reception. Francie's part-time telemarketing job gives her time to dig through Dumpsters in an attempt to recover missing computer files that might provide a motive for murder. But the hot water she's in rises neck-deep when she discovers Rosie murdered. There'll be several more hair-raising adventures before the truth is revealed. Middling distaff adventures.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594145353
  • Publisher: Cengage Gale
  • Publication date: 3/21/2007
  • Series: Five Star First Edition Mystery Ser.
  • Pages: 263
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.10 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A humorous amateur sleuth tale

    With the death due to a meth lab explosion of her fiancé Dave McGraw, Francie Starzel left Chicago for Denver when her college roommate Helene Fortier offers her a position as a finance analyst at Techlaw. She takes with her Dave¿s nine year old son Mac, who she is the guardian of as they both need to start over.------------------ However, Helene fires Francie after a financial report shows discrepancies. Irate, Francie threatens to kill Helene if they ever meet again. Francie obtains work as a telemarketer selling funerals while Mac buys a pet tarantula Spike. When Helene is found dead in Francie¿s car trunk, the fired employee realizes her former employer canned her to keep her safe. Meanwhile Detective Dominic Wolfe sees her as the prime suspect especially when he learns she is related to the infamous Starlinski family renowned for cat burglary and forgery. Not willing to trust the law, as it is in her blood to think that way, and fearing she will lose custody of Mac if she goes to jail, Francie begins inquiries into who killed her former boss.------------------ The key to this humorous amateur sleuth is Francie who likes Dominic, but has a ¿DNA¿ aversion to cops. Her motives to prove her innocence by finding the killer feels right with her upbringing and with her love for Mac. The body in the trunk is a neat way to remind readers how well our senses adapt to environs like pungent odors. The story line is fast-paced with a unique hero coming to the rescue and a fascinating coda involving Francie¿s mom ¿welcoming¿ the detective Starlinski style. Francie¿s follies are a winning whodunit.-------------------- Harriet Klausner

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