Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Mystery Book Review: Hasta la Vista, Lola! by Misa Ramirez

Mysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, is publishing a new review of Hasta la Vista, Lola! by Misa Ramirez. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.

Hasta la Vista, Lola! by Misa Ramirez

A Lola Cruz Mystery

St. Martin's Minotaur (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0-312-38403-3 (0312384033)
ISBN-13: 978-0-312-38403-6 (9780312384036)
Publication Date: February 2010
List Price: $24.99

Review: Sacramento private investigator Delores "Lola" Cruz discovers a murder victim has stolen her identity -- but who was the real target? -- in Hasta la Vista, Lola!, the second mystery in this Latina chick lit series by Misa Ramirez.

Lola is wrapping up surveillance of a cheating spouse as part of an assignment when she receives a phone call from her house. Hearing only muffled crying, she rushes home to discover her extended family gathered together to mourn ... her death. The news had reported that Dolores Cruz, a PI and the daughter of the owners of Abuelita's restaurant -- in other words, Lola -- had been found with a fatal head wound in an alley behind a local mall. The police quickly realize they have misidentified the victim, but are still puzzled why the woman had Lola's name and address on her driver's license. Lola starts her own investigation and discovers what initially seems a case of simple identity theft may be far more complicated.

Hasta la Vista, Lola! is one of those mysteries that if you buy the character, you'll buy the book. Lola is larger than life and she, together with her family, dominates the story almost to the point of distraction. That she has relationship issues is a given; there's Jack, the sexy reporter, and Manny, her dark and dangerous boss, and of course men from the past; on the night of her "death", when her former muy caliente boyfriend shows up she says, "Sergio Garcia. Could this night get any worse?"

Lola Cruz is an engaging character, and Hasta la Vista, Lola! is light and generally entertaining, but the mystery plot is never really all that credible, and develops little between the opening and concluding chapters.

Special thanks to St. Martin's Minotaur for providing a copy of Hasta la Vista, Lola! for this review.

Review Copyright © 2010 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved

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Synopsis (from the publisher): When Lola comes home to her parents’ house to find a horde of relatives mourning her death, no one is more surprised than she is. The news had reported that one Lola Cruz, PI was found murdered in an alley, causing great alarm in the Cruz family. Before Lola can say “boo,” a cop comes to the house. It turns out the dead woman had a driver’s license with Lola’s information. Between avoiding an unsavory ex-boyfriend, sorting out mixed signals from the very interested but not yet committed Jack Callaghan, and filling in as a waitress at her parents’ Mexican restaurant, Lola tries to find out who the woman was and why she stole her identity. Was the woman hiding from someone who meant her harm, or is there someone out there who wants Lola dead?

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Lance Wright owns and manages Omnimystery, a Family of Mystery Websites, which had its origin as Hidden Staircase Mystery Books in 1986. As the scope of the business expanded, first into book reviews — Mysterious Reviews — and later into information for and reviews of mystery and suspense television and film, all sites were consolidated under the Omnimystery brand in 2006.

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