Short Change

Short Change

4.3 3
by Patricia Smiley

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L.A.-based Tucker Sinclair has her hands full trying to get her consulting business off the ground. But it won't be easy: with her clients' businesses threatened-and then their lives-the stakes are deadly high.


L.A.-based Tucker Sinclair has her hands full trying to get her consulting business off the ground. But it won't be easy: with her clients' businesses threatened-and then their lives-the stakes are deadly high.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

At the start of Smiley's diverting third Tucker Sinclair mystery (after 2005's Cover Your Assets), the self-employed Los Angeles business consultant is sorting out the financial problems of her friend PI Charley Tate when distraught and disheveled Eve Lawson walks into Tate's office with complaints of being followed. When Lawson disappears, her boyfriend is killed and Tate is run off the road, Tucker turns detective. She retraces Lawson's erratic recent history, interviewing family members and former boyfriends, but something doesn't add up. At the center of the mystery is a small piece of property, owned by Lawson, that stands in the way of a major luxury development. That the murder occurred in the jurisdiction of LAPD detective Joe Deegan, Tucker's boyfriend, creates a conflict of interest. Meanwhile, Tucker is fighting her aunt for ownership of the cozy beach house she inherited from her grandmother. Satisfied fans will enjoy the forays and foibles of this charming heroine. (July)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal
Tucker Sinclair (Cover Your Assets) tries to save a P.I. firm from insolvency and gets enmeshed in city government corruption, family secrets, and a sexy homicide detective. The third series title by the Los Angeles-based Smiley, who makes her NAL debut. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A business consultant goes the extra mile when her client lands in the middle of a murder investigation. Since leaving the corporate rat race at Aames & Associates, Tucker Sinclair (Cover Your Assets, 2005, etc.) hasn't exactly been idle. Helping retired LAPD detective Charley Tate jazz up his p.i. firm's image is a job and three-quarters. It includes refereeing daily bouts between Charley and his trophy wife Lorna, who wants him to trade in his gumshoes for a choir robe and a job with her televangelist brother. But that's just the prelim. Eventually, Charley gets sidelined by a suspicious accident, and Tucker takes over the search for his client Eve Lawson, who disappears from her Marina Del Rey bungalow shortly before her boyfriend Rocky Kincaid turns up dead in a motel room. Interviewing Eve's icy stepmother Meredith and toxic stepbrother Kip Moreland at their palatial estate is bad enough. A drive through the desert to Ladera Bonita, where Eve's family's Wildwood Properties plans to enhance the rugged landscape with pricey tract houses, is worse. But worst of all, Tracy Fields, L.A. cop Joe Deegan's vindictive ex, finds out that Joe has been up close and personal with Tucker, who's involved in the Kincaid investigation. Suddenly, it looks as if Tucker's about to be shortchanged both professionally and romantically. Smiley's third lives up to the promise of her first two, with tough-girl Tucker going tender at all the right moments. Agent: Scott Miller/Trident Media Group, LLC.

Product Details

Gale Group
Publication date:
Tucker Sinclair Ser.
Edition description:
Large Print Edition
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

Patricia Smiley is the author of Los Angeles Times bestsellers Cover Your Assets and False Profits. She participates in the blog with mystery authors that include Cornelia Read and Jacqueline Winspear. She lives in Los Angeles, California. Author website:

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Short Change 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
harstan More than 1 year ago
Management curmudgeon Tucker Sinclair left her corporate job when the partners failed to support her during a murder investigation. She opened up her own business and scrambles to build a solid client base. Ex-cop turned private investigator Charles Tate asks for Tucker¿s help ergo she gets sucked into one of his investigations. Evie Lawson asks Charles to help her because she thinks someone is stalking her. They are to meet, but she is a no-show Tucker as a favor to Charlie goes to Evie¿s house, but she is not there either. --- Tucker¿s police officer boyfriend describes a homicide victim to her, who is Evie¿s former lover Evie is a person of interest to the police. Charlie is in a car accident so he asks Tucker to continue to help him on the case. Evie¿s stepbrother demands Charles find her before she harms herself as he insists she is mentally unstable and probably suicidal. Tucker discovers that Evie is holding up the construction of a multi-million dollar development project by refusing to sign away her property. She now knows why seemingly everyone is desperately seeking Evie, but like the others on the hunt she has no idea where the woman hides. --- Though the tale can turn a bit confusing with the universe searching for Evie, readers will agree that Patricia Smiley has written an appealing amateur sleuth mystery due to the intelligent, determined, and caring heroine. Charles provides comic relief when the tension looks overwhelming especially as the taut noose chokes Tucker. There is a lot of action in this fast-paced tale, but it is the characters especially tough and tender Tucker who make SHORT CHANGE a fun investigative thriller. ---Harriet Klausner