In bestseller Laurie’s enjoyable sequel to 2019’s Coached to Death, Cat Cooper, who owns a life-coaching business, and her friend Gilley Gillespie, who’s helping her with a marketing campaign, are determined to make Cat the premier life coach in East Hampton, Long Island, before the summer season begins. First, though, they have to survive the offseason with its empty beaches and lack of clients. Gilley is missing his fashion photographer husband, who’s away on a shoot for a month; Cat’s one potential client, Willem Entwistle, believes he’s cursed; and the two men in Cat’s life, Maks Grinkov, a businessman with Chechen mafia connections, and Det. Steve Shepherd, of the East Hampton PD, are vying for her attention. The stakes rise when the police finger Maks as the perpetrator of multiple murders. Cat and Gilley’s efforts to prove Maks’s innocence take some unexpected and thrilling turns. Sebastian, Cat’s charming AI butler, lends support. Fans of superior cozies will be well satisfied. Agent: Jim McCarthy, Dystel, Goderich, & Bourret. (Sept.)
A life coach determined to investigate a hit woman called the Angel of Death doesn’t foresee all the potential dangers.
In a fast sequel to Catherine Cooper’s last adventure in Coached to Death(2019), Cat is stuck on investigating a sociopathic hit woman responsible for a trail of murders tangentially affecting Cat’s life. Take, for example, the killing of Lenny Shepherd. The real estate agent was snatched by the killer years earlier, and Cat wants to get to the bottom of it so she can allay the ignorance of her friend (just friend, she insists) Detective Steve Shepherd about why his ex-wife was killed by such a notorious fiend. Meanwhile, Cat’s love interest, Maks Grinkov, who’s been all but MIA lately, shows up asking Cat for an act of faith. Because of his connection to Canadian Security Intelligence Services, he needs Cat to act as a go-between for him and his handler. Surely Cat—or Catherine, ashe formally puts it—trusts him, right? And Cat’s real-life job as East Hampton’s newest life coach is a perfect cover for making handoffs to strangers. Besides, her only recent client, Willem Entwistle, a little person plagued by a curse of bad luck, is hardly occupying all her time. Between Maks’ access to intelligence info and her requisite gay partner in crime, mischievous Gilley Gillespie, it’s only a matter of time before Cat’s sleuthing rouses the killer from hiding. Stay safe, Cat.
Predictable plotting doesn’t slow a fun read that gets by on its characters’ charm.