Money to Burn

Michael Hendricks, Author Dutton Books $16.95 (219p) ISBN 978-0-525-24772-2
PI Rita Noonan is a promising one. Hendricks enhances her first case with crisp prose and an interesting plot enlivened by several surprises. Employed for seven years by the New York agency, Ortner and Lloyd Investigations (Malcolm Ortner will retire when Rita quits and Lloyd is dead), Rita longs to do more than tail cheating spouses--the larger part of their business. She believes it's time to become a partner in the firm or find a new job. Millionaire Bobby Wilcox appears and offers her the opportunity to do something different. His stepsister, Lucy Randle, and her boyfriend, Rudi Jordan, are missing. Since Lucy's disappearance could affect the status of his trust fund, Bobby, who is tired of working at Muse , a poetry magazine funded by his grandfather's foundation, hires Rita to locate the pair. The divorced gumshoe follows a trail through the city's diverse neighborhoods that leads to a drug operation, an unusual pornography business, a government bond scam and, ultimately, murder. Rita is a tough, tender and thoroughly likable heroine. More important, she's a credible detective. Hendricks seems comfortable writing from a woman's perspective and provides just a smattering of details about Rita's life to arouse a reader's curiosity and whet the appetite for her next investigation. (June)
Reviewed on: 07/06/1989
Release date: 07/01/1989
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