Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Liar Liar - A Review



Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by Poisoned Pen Press with the assistance of Net Galley for review. The views expressed here are honest and are in no way influenced by the publishers.

Synopsis

Private Investigator Cat DeLuca and her Pants on Fire Detective Agency have a reputation for catching cheaters. It’s a skill Cat mastered when married to her run-around ex, Johnnie Ricco. Armed with a camera, Cat scales balconies, dangles from hotel windows, and splashes the bare facts on 8X10 glossies. They tend to sweeten her clients’ divorce settlements.

Life takes a strange turn when a reporter for the Chicago Tribune (Rita Polansky) masquerades as a client with a liar-liar husband. Rita retains Cat to follow Chance Savino, a steamy guy with a pocketful of smuggled diamonds. The detective is hot on his heels when an exploding building hurls her out of her sling-backs and into the hospital. The FBI claims Savino was killed in the fireworks but Cat isn’t buying it. She escapes the hospital determined to find out.

When her client fails to show for a scheduled meeting, Cat finds her at home with a knife in her chest. She learns the reporter was researching a ball-buster story involving a gangster, gun smuggling, and a pocketful of diamonds. Cat discovers two clues in Rita’s apartment; Starburst candy wrappers and Chance Savino rummaging through her drawers.

Meanwhile, no one believes Chance is alive, everyone thinks Cat’s crazy, and Cat makes a murderer’s “must kill” list. A botched attempt puts ex husband, Johnnie Ricco on the short list of suspects. Can Cat solve this case before it is too late?

My Review

In case you find the title of this book oddly familiar it’s because it was modeled from a popular childhood rhyme “Liar Liar, pants on fire”. The rhyme serves as the title of Cat DeLuna’s Private Investigation firm where she catches lying and cheating husbands.  The nature of Cat’s job, her crazy family and K.J’s writing makes this story a really funny and whimsical read.

Some of the more outstanding themes in the book were arguably sexism in the police and investigative fields and also the relevance of Private Investigators.  Incidentally both themes were correlated throughout the book.  I thought that the story was in some way or the other, taking a jab at sexism in the police and investigative services.  There were many instances throughout the story where Cat was reflected by the other characters as not being cut out for her job, not knowing how to do her job properly and more so that the job was just too dangerous for her. Additionally, no one thought that Cat had a real job even though she owned the investigative firm. Throughout the story her relatives were constantly trying to get her to switch jobs and become a dispatcher. On top of that her job as a private investigator was demoralized by others who described her as a pervert taking dirty photos of other people.

For a suspense mystery, it’s a bit on the obvious side. The clues that are revealed are really simple but Larsen never really brings them together until the very last minute and even then there are some elements of the story that remain a bit unsettled. The ending in my opinion was totally unexpected and it was what elevated the story.

Uncle Joey, though the victim of stereotype, was my favorite character (evidently stereotypes were rampant throughout the entire story). His character was a bit shady but his role in the end of the novel is what gives him the nod for me. It was sheer brilliance and no other character could have pulled it off in fine style the way he could (hope I haven’t spoiled the novel for anyone lol).

Liar Liar is a funny, lite, woman’s murder mystery. It’s worth the try if you can turn a blind eye to the obvious.

CymLowell

1 comment:

jewelknits said...

Sounds like a fun read! Summertime is the time for fun reads!

Julie @ Knitting and Sundries

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