cover image Musclebound


Liza Cody. Mysterious Press, $21.5 (288pp) ISBN 978-0-89296-601-1

Less a mystery than another bruising round in erstwhile professional wrestler Eva Wylie's tragicomic encounter with life, this latest in Cody's admirable series (Bucket Nut; Monkey Wrench) features, to fine effect, Eva's highly dysfunctional family. The seldom demure ""London Lassassin"" steals a car in a slightly drunken snit and finds in the back a sports bag full of crisp bills. With the newly acquired cash, she hires a personal trainer, buys some new threads and a few more drinks than usual. She even pays her rotten mother's rent. But her plans for the future change when her long-lost, much-beloved sister, Simone, walks back into her life. Eva kills a bloke who comes after Simone with a hammer and soon runs afoul of the smooth guy who owns the found cash, a man who turns out to be awfully chummy with Simone, who may be beautiful but whose character doesn't hold a candle to her sister's. Eva's voice is unique in crime fiction. She's loud and foul and perversely endearing. A perpetual loser and the polar opposite of feminine, she's always picking fights and may take up boxing next. She's London's answer to Dennis Rodman, and she is of course utterly and bizarrely lovable. (Sept.)