My Sweet Untraceable You: A Lauren Laurano Mystery

Sandra Scoppettone, Author
Sandra Scoppettone, Author Little Brown and Company $19.95 (275p) ISBN 978-0-316-77648-6
Mass Market Paperbound - 40 pages - 978-0-345-39162-9
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A tortuously contrived plot and too-cute tone undermine the third adventure (after I'll Be Leaving You Always ) of New York City PI Lauren Laurano. Lauren, who lives in the Village with her female lover, psychotherapist Kip Adams, is hired by an ex-druggie called Boston Blackie to investigate the death, 38 years earlier, of his mother, Susie Mcmann. Blackie has been told she died in a car accident, but he has always believed she was murdered by his father, Harold. The case takes Lauren, Kip and a few friends away from the hot pavement of a New York City summer and into rural upstate territory, to Blackie's hometown. Soon after interviewing Blackie's very odd Aunt Almay Mcmann in her remote mobile home, Lauren is told that Almay doesn't exist--and then can't find her again to prove that she does. Interviews with other family members and town residents send the PI back to Manhattan, where her client's relatives proliferate in campy, soap-opera style. Neither the occasional gruesome scene nor Lauren's persistent I-can't-believe-this stance offsets the narrative's silliness. The humor is even more artificial when Kip faces a difficult moment in her life. Lauren and Kip remain a likable, with-it urban lesbian couple, but their appeal is diminished here by a coincidence-laden, hard-to-credit story line. (June)
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