Sunday, March 28, 2010

Mystery Book Review: How to Lose a Client by Becky A. Bartness

Mysterious Reviews

Mysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, is publishing a new review of How to Lose a Client by Becky A. Bartness. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.

How to Lose a Client by Becky A. Bartness

A Kate Williams Mystery

iUniverse (Trade Paperback)
ISBN-10: 1-4401-7748-1 (1440177481)
ISBN-13: 978-1-4401-7748-4 (9781440177484)
Publication Date: January 2010
List Price: $17.95

Review: Attorney Kate Williams is thrilled with her new role as corporate attorney for a well-paying client ... until she learns her predecessor was murdered and she may be next ... in How to Lose a Client, the third mystery in this series by Becky A. Bartness.

Kate is settling down in her new hometown of Phoenix, Arizona. A former criminal lawyer in Chicago, she left the Windy City to take a position as Maricopa County attorney -- but that didn't quite work out, so she's opened her own office: Caitlin Williams, Attorney at Law. She's brought along a few former colleagues: M. J. Polowski, young eccentric paralegal; Marcus John Martinez-O'Reilly Ramirez, who everyone calls Sam, investigator; and Beth Portucci, secretary-receptionist-administrator-extraordinaire. Their most lucrative client is Ms. Katherine Paar, a.k.a. Tangerine, owner of Pole Polishers Inc., a ... ahem ... gentleman's escort service. In addition to a substantial retainer, Tangerine entrusts Kate with a flash drive containing a list of their clients, which includes ... ahem ... some rather prominent city and county officials. But then Tangerine disappears. And when someone learns that Kate has her client list, they go after Kate as well. Kate's current boyfriend, Brian Turner (who just happens to be interim Sheriff of the county), tells her to stay out of the investigation, but Kate being Kate, she just can't help herself. She gets her team together and they find Tangerine -- only to lose her again. It's a complex web of mysterious goings-on that Kate faces while trying to solve the disappearance of Tangerine and the murder of her former attorney.

How to Lose a Client is a delightful mystery. The captivating characters are colorfully drawn, the plot intriguing without being too demanding. And despite a storyline involving ... ahem ... ladies of the night, the author keeps the narrative light and positive without resorting to coarse or rough language. It's always a pleasure to read a book that relies on strong characters, setting and plot to tell a story, and does not depend on excessive violence or offensive words to punch up the action.

Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of How to Lose a Client and to Becky A. Bartness for providing a copy of the book for this review.

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

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Synopsis (from the publisher): Kate Williams, Esq., has just started her own criminal defense law firm in Phoenix, Arizona, when Katherine Paar aka Tangerine, a new client, walks in and proposes a lucrative deal to bring Kate on as her attorney. Things get complicated and events unfold quickly when the body of Tangerine's ex-lawyer is discovered and Tangerine disappears. Kate, aided by MJ, her tattooed, pierced, and fashion-challenged paralegal and Sam, her sometimes cross-dressing investigator, along with a cast of characters straight out of a John Waters movie, try to unravel the bizarre mystery and save Tangerine's life.

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