cover image The Butcher of Beverly Hills

The Butcher of Beverly Hills

Jennifer Colt, . . Broadway, $11.95 (368pp) ISBN 978-0-7679-2011-7

What if Stephanie Plum had an ex-cokehead for a sister? Gorgeous twin crime fighters battle a bunch of shady dudes in screenwriter Colt's vivacious debut, the first in a planned trilogy. Kerry and Terry McAfee are both tall, lanky and red-headed, but the similarity stops there: Terry's done time for cocaine possession and has a thing for dangerous women; Kerry's a UCLA grad with a fondness for dark, funny men. Together they're the L.A. PI firm Double Indemnity Investigations, a two-woman, perpetually broke organization dedicated to solving crimes, no job too big or small. When their aunt Reba, the Canasta Queen of Beverly Hills, sends her wealthy friend Lenore to ask the twins for their help in finding the $10,000 her playboy husband ran off with, Kerry and Terry find themselves up to their matching leather jackets in trouble. All roads lead to Dr. Hattrick, a pill-dispensing plastic surgeon who performs face-lifts on the Beverly Hills ladies-who-lunch crowd, but a cast of similarly menacing ne'er-do-wells, including a gun-toting Russian moll, a sleazy lawyer and a cop with a mullet and an attitude, keep the surprises coming. This is a fast-paced, gum-snapping, snarky chick-lit mystery with sparkle to spare. (July)