cover image Just Desserts

Just Desserts

G. A. McKevett. Zebra, $16.95 (294pp) ISBN 978-0-8217-4924-1

McKevett's debut, set in San Carmelita, Calif., is an uneven mix of police procedural and gumshoe cliches. Georgia-born detective Savannah Reid and her staid partner, Dirk Coulter, are split up after the body of city councilwoman Beverly Winston's husband is found shotgunned. In an unprecedented move, Savannah is given the case alone and is told to concentrate on suspects other than Beverly. She learns why: Beverly and police chief Norman Hillquist are lovers. After refusing to abridge her investigation and discovering that Hillquist confiscated a piece of evidence, she is fired, ostensibly for being overweight. Then a prime suspect hires Savannah to find the real killer. In her private life, Savannah worries as her naive younger sister is wined and dined by a notorious pimp. An anonymous tipster, a gay detective couple and a computer nerd who finally breaks the case join Savannah and the ever-loyal Dirk as they careen from one implausible situation to the next, failing to settle into credible detecting. (May)