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