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by David Handler
William Morrow, August 2017
276 pages
ISBN: 0062412841

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Stewart Hoag and his adorable dog Lulu return after a ten year absence. I had forgotten how much fun the pair is.

When Richard Aintree's wife committed suicide, he abandoned his daughters and dropped out of sight. Regina and Monette Aintree have grown up, moved on and created lives of their own. However, the sisters have not spoken in years. Now, out of the blue, Monette has received a letter from her father wanting to meet and explain his actions. Hoagie is hired to look into the authenticity of the letter and to write about the father-daughter reunion. If Richard Aintree is going to surface after all these years, it will be big news indeed. His one book was huge. Hoagie has mixed feelings about the project. He and Regina (Reggie) had a relationship at one time. Before traveling to Los Angeles to meet with Monette, he heads upstate to talk to Reggie about the letter and what he has been hired to do.

One of the concerns Hoagie has is whether or not the letter is some sort of a scam. Monette is the head of a large home and lifestyle brand and quite wealthy, which makes her a potential target. When Hoagie arrives in California, he finds plenty of people surrounding Monette who would possibly have the motives to try to scam Monette. The list includes her husband, currently involved with the star of his television show, the husband's current squeeze who is much younger and very pregnant plus an entire cast of suspects connected to Monette's business.

The action picks up when Reggie also receives a letter with a note enclosing it instructing it not to be read until the sisters are together. Hoagie finds himself amid an extremely dysfunctional family surrounded by people with less than honorable intentions who have much to hide.

Even though the book is set in 1992, it has a feeling of an "old Hollywood" novel, adding an additional attraction.

Hopefully the author won't wait ten years to bring Hoagie and Lulu back again.

Caryn St.Clair resides in University City, Missouri and is a former elementary school media specialist, President of the Parks Commission and a docent at the St.Louis Zoo.

Reviewed by Caryn St Clair, September 2017

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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