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Goat Heads and Sand Burrs, P. Kirby's Reading Blog

The good, bad, and fugly books I've read.
Deadly Farce - Jennifer McAndrews 3.5 stars.

I bought Deadly Farce in part because this, the second line in the novel, made me laugh:

"My old pal Shepherd had called at somebody-better-be-dead o'clock and begged me to meet him on set down in Jersey."

Anything before 10 AM is somebody-better-be-dead o'clock by my reckoning. Anyway, for what it's meant to be, a light mystery, Deadly Farce does its thing well.

Lorraine Keys is a private investigator and wanna-be bodyguard, employed by a security company. Her usual job duties include babysitting antiquities at museums. When her childhood friend, Shepherd Brown, an A-list actor, calls her insisting that someone is trying to kill him, she sees a chance to not only protect a friend, but also to advance in her career.

As soon as she arrives on the set of his latest film, the suspects, most of them Shepherd's ex-girlfriends, practically start lining up. And in case there's any doubt that someone is really trying to kill him, Lorraine's trip across town, chauffeuring Shepherd's pal, the sexy Eddie Gale, turns almost deadly when the brakes and steering fail in Shepherd's SUV.

Meanwhile, Lorraine's boss, Dave, doesn't want her on the job because she doesn't have the necessary experience. Yeah, isn't that always the kicker? The job requires X amount of experience, but how do you get said experience, if you can't get the job? Obviously, since there wouldn't be much of a novel if she went back home to New York and back to protecting mummies, Dave breaks down and lets her be part of Shepherd's security detail. Complicating matters, Lorraine's best friend Barb, insists on coming along, determined to meet Shepherd, her hero.

The plot and even some of the underlying logic in Deadly Farce is thin enough to blow away in a stiff breeze, but the engaging voice, and fun (but not deeply developed) characters, keep the story moving along at a steady clip. (I read this in just a few days, a rarity for me.) A good palate cleanser, especially if you've been reading heavier fiction and want an easy-breezy break.