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Book Review: Cover Your Assets

Reviewed By: Luke Croll - RAM

[3 stars]

Cover Your Assets     Amazon US HC Amazon Canada HC
Patricia Smiley
Class/Genre:   Mystery   Woman Main Character
Series: Tucker Sinclair # 2
Mysterious Press, Nov 2005, $23.95 (USD), 290 pages

After a brush with murder in 'False Profits', Smiley's previous novel, Tucker Sinclair never thought that she would get involved in that side of life again. This time, however, death hits close to home. An old college lover, Evan Brice, comes back into her life - dead. When his widow becomes the prime suspect, she turns to Tucker, who used to be her best friend, for help. However, in the shady world of acting in Los Angeles, nothing is what it seems and Tucker soon finds herself embroiled in a complicated case.

Novels such as 'Cover Your Assets' are a breath of fresh air. The book does not take itself too seriously and it is a very fun read. Tucker Sinclair stumbles from clue to clue, without having any real idea of what is going on and how she is going to help out. She may not be Miss Marple, but she still manages to get the job done. As ever, her detecting is hindered by her errant mother and a complicated love life, as well as having to look after her Westie. Smiley has written the novel as a first person narrative, allowing us an insight into Sinclair's mind and the way that she thinks. Some of her behaviour may not seem entirely rational, but with a mother like hers, what can you expect?

The humour is strong, but Smiley does include moments of gravity as well, meaning that there is enough of a serious side to make the book attractive to more hardened mystery readers, whilst it remains firmly ensconced in the cosy genre. If you want to relax with colourful characters and a mystery that will not be too taxing, then 'Cover Your Assets' would be a good choice. It seems to me that Smiley has further plans for Tucker Sinclair, and it will be interesting to see how her characters continue to develop and attract a wider readership.

Luke Croll - RAM

Reprinted with permission. Do Not repost without permission from the author, Luke Croll - RAM

Luke Croll - Conference interpreter and translator

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