Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Imitation of Death by Cheryl Crane

I hadn’t read the previous first book in this series, but after reading this book and liking it, I will definitely give it a whirl. Nikki is a celebrity realtor who is also an amateur private investigator. I was worried at first that this story would be a little too hard-boiled for my tastes, but I found it to be interesting and a lot of fun. Nikki is a very likable, non-obnoxious protagonist. She is temporarily living with her famous movie star mother while she is having work done on her house. It is while at her mother’s that she witnesses and then gets involved in an argument between childhood friend and family gardener Jorge and the druggie, loser son of her mother’s famous next-door neighbors. Some threats are made and then Eddie (the loser) is found dead in an alleyway dumpster with Jorge’s gardening shears imbedded in him. Jorge is understandably thought of as suspect number one and promptly arrested. Nikki then makes it her mission to prove Jorge’s innocence, even without his help. I enjoyed following Nikki’s investigation as she questions the various suspects – and there are a lot since most people had a reason to dislike Eddie. The story kept me guessing right up until the end. I enjoyed meeting all the supporting characters like Nikki’s celebrity buddy Marshall, Nikki’s brother Jimmy, and the mysterious Mr. M. Nikki’s boyfriend Jeremy seemed nice enough, but he was very much on the periphery and I was sort of hoping Nikki would wind up switching her affections to the nice, Robert Redford look-alike. I look forward to reading more books in this series.

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