Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyCharlie Plato, part-owner of CHAPS, a western bar and dance hall outside San Francisco, engages in an affable fourth outing (following Dead Beat and Deadly). Charlie's business partner, tight-lipped Angel Cervantes, has always thought that his father, Vic, killed his mother before running off with another woman many years ago. When Vic's body is found in a storage locker, Angel and his brother, Miguel, become prime suspects--and it doesn't help that Miguel once vowed to kill Vic to avenge their mother's death. Angel says they didn't do it, however, and asks Charlie and Zack Hunter, a CHAPS senior partner and former TV star, to investigate the murder on the siblings' behalf. At Vic's wake, the two sleuths meet Roxy, the girl Vic ran away with, and Hank, her sleazy brother. Roxy claims she and Vic were a loving, committed couple, even though he had recently left her for a younger woman. Vic wasn't as loved by his boss, the contractor in whose locker the corpse was found. As she pieces together the deceased's life, Charlie gets threatening e-mail messages and is ambushed with rocks while driving. These mishaps only convince the indefatigably upbeat heroine that she and Zack are on the killer's trail. Meanwhile, the duo's on-again/off-again relationship heats up, despite Charlie's assurances that she's over Zack. The ongoing flirtation is lightly enjoyable, and though Chittenden's breezy prose prevents the buildup of any serious suspense, series fans will find the novel an amenable romp. (July) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal - Library JournalCharlie Plato, part-owner of a country-western tavern, dives into another murder mystery near San Francisco when local police discover a body in an abandoned storage locker. The fourth in the series, this features the usual inviting and bouncy prose from the onset. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus ReviewsYou never know what treasures those unclaimed storage lockers will hold. After contractor Sal Migliatore dies, Dill Eisenhardt, the man who bids on Sal's locker, finds a mummified corpse inside. Because this corpse, said to be Vic Smith, is really Vicenzo Cervantes, long-lost father of Angel Cervantes, one of Charlie Plato's partners in the CHAPS country-and-western tavern, Charlie gets pulled into the case. The first thing she and her on-again boyfriend, TV dreamboat and CHAPS half-owner Zack Hunter, find out from Angel and his brother, rodeo-rider Miguel, is that Vicenzo Cervantes had a terrific reason for being long-lost: he took off shortly after murdering his wife. The second thing, which they find out nanoseconds later, is that Angel and Miguel share a powerful motive for murder. Luckily, it looks as if Vic, in his 17-year absence from his sons, had managed to surround himself with other people who had equally little use for him, from his common-law wife Roxy Smith, highly miffed that he'd just left her for a mystery teenager named Bambi, to Roxy's father, potty king Warren Spangler, and her born-to-screw-up brother Hank Spangler. Zack takes the lead in the ensuing interrogatories�because, as Charlie says, "Women answer any question he asks. (Especially if it requires a `yes' answer)"�but it's Charlie who puts together the pieces to a surprisingly complicated puzzle. Lively and gently humorous, though it�s a little tiresome hearing Charlie, from the safe confines of her tried-and-true formula (Dead Beat and Deadly, 1998, etc.), complain that Zack acts as if he were on TV.
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