Thursday, July 12, 2007

Mystery Book Review: Dead on Arrival by Lori Avocato

Mysterious ReviewsMysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, has written a review of Dead on Arrival by Lori Avocato. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.Dead on Arrival by Lori Avocato

Dead on Arrival by
A Pauline Sokol Mystery

Avon Books (Mass Market Paperback)
ISBN-10: 0-06-083708-X (006083708X)
ISBN-13: 978-0-06-083708-2 (9780060837082)
Publication Date: July 2007
List Price: $6.99

Synopsis (from the publisher): Normally, insurance fraud investigator Pauline Sokol likes to keep her feet firmly on the ground. But her latest undercover assignment has the aero-phobic ex-nurse flying high—as she takes off to ground a land-and-air ambulance company that's been doing some rather flighty billing. Even having ER Dano, the company's best (and hottest!) paramedic, in the copter seat next to her isn't enough to soothe her queasy tummy.

But her insides really start doing loop-de-loops when one of the company's owners is brutally murdered—and Pauline starts receiving creepy phone calls . . . from the killer! Suddenly the air looks a lot safer than the ground. And if Pauline doesn't crack this case soon, even mouth-to-mouth from her favorite paramedic won't be enough to revive her.

Review: Insurance investigator Pauline Sokol again dons her nurse's uniform to look into some billing irregularities in her sixth case, Dead on Arrival by Lori Avocato.

The Scarpello and Tonelli Insurance Agency, for which Pauline works as an investigator, suspects that a local ambulance service, TLC Air and Land, has been falsely billing for services never rendered. Working undercover as a nurse for the company, she quickly finds evidence to confirm her agency's suspicions. But things get complicated when Payne Sterling, who owns TLC with his twin sister Pansy, is murdered, and the killer is all too willing to make Pauline his next victim.

The primary appeal of this series is accompanying Pauline as she gets herself into and out of trouble during her investigation, following her evolving relationship with the mysterious Jagger, and seeing how she deals with the ruggedly handsome men with whom she finds herself working. Plots have never been that important, and that is particularly evident in this case. With Pauline discovering the incriminating billing records and the murder of Payne taking place very early in the book, one would think that her mission was accomplished, job well done, time for the police to step in to solve the murder.

That wouldn't make for much of a story, however, so Pauline continues to pry into the affairs of TLC. But there's an underlying sense that everyone is simply biding their time until the killer is conveniently identified and their motive revealed.

Fans of the series will likely enjoy the familiarity of Dead on Arrival. New readers may not be as enthusiastic.

Special thanks to Book Trends for providing an ARC of Dead on Arrival for this review.

Review Copyright © 2007 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved.

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