Lucky Stiff

Deborah Coonts, Forge, $24.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-7653-2544-0
Very much in the spirit of Carole Nelson Douglas's Midnight Louie mystery series (sans talking cats), Coonts covers similar Sin City territory with a dash of CSI and Janet Evanovich in her second glitzy, lighthearted novel featuring Lucky O'Toole, the head of customer relations for the Babylon, "the most over-the-top resort/casino on the Las Vegas strip" (after Wanna Get Lucky?). Early one morning at the Babylon, after dealing with a honeybee invasion, Lucky happens on PI Jeremy Whitlock quarreling with notorious oddsmaker Evelyn Wabash "Numbers" Neidermeyer. Hours later, Numbers's remains turn up in the shark tank of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, and Jeremy becomes the prime suspect in her murder. Meanwhile, Lucky's madame mother plans to stage a "virginity auction" at her brothel, and Lucky's songwriting lover, Teddie Kowalski, heads to L.A. for a recording deal. Amid all the flashy Vegas fun, some readers may notice that the action's awfully familiar. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/06/2010
Release date: 02/01/2011
Genre: Fiction
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