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by Annie Hogsett
Poisoned Pen Press, June 2018
310 pages
ISBN: 1464209995

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Allie Harper and her lover, Professor Thomas Bennington III, who is blind, have formed the T & A Detective Agency not as a way to earn a living but as a way to give back to the community Cleveland in gratitude for Tom winning $550 million in the MondoMegaJackpot. However, from the beginning of their new-found and enormous wealth (okay, the payout was $197 million who cares?) their lives have been filled with all kinds of requests for money (you can imagine!), attempts to hack their accounts and steal the money, and danger to them so serious that there have been murders.

This is the second book in the new Somebody's Bound to Wind up Dead Mysteries Series and the first one dealt with the mess Allie and Tom faced in their first few months with the agency. Now it is ten months later and although Tom has left teaching at Case Western University because everyone knows about the money and that environment has been ruined for him, the two of them think they have found a way to live in peace, in contentment, and in a carefully constructed safety. They have rented for the time being a 9,000 square foot mansion overlooking Lake Erie that has been provided with an entirely new security/alarm system state of the art. They have also enlisted the fulltime and live-in help of Otis Johnson, a former veteran cop who also serves as frequent cook, chauffeur, and whatever is needed day to day. Besides, he's a close friend.

With Otis, Allie and Tom have decided to serve as detectives for those who have suffered devastating loss without resolution that is, for people whose loss has begun to turn into a police department cold case because there are no leads to pursue further. They certainly have the resources. The money is growing faster than they can spend it.

A woman from Allie's former life what Allie describes as before the Bulldozer of Fate comes to her for help. Loretta Coates was the head librarian at the library where Allie had gotten a job and although they weren't terrifically close, Loretta can't think of anyone else to turn to. The man she loves and has every reason to believe really loves her has simply disappeared along with his car, a classic GTO, which was the only thing of value that he owned and something he treasured. Allie, Tom, and Otis take on the case because it is exactly the sort of thing they intended T & A to do: to find out what happened and to help people come to closure with whatever loss they've suffered.

Through diligent and painstaking searching, not to mention help from some of Otis's contacts in the Police Department, the three of them flesh out the last day Loretta is sure that her Lonnie was still in Cleveland and they get way further than the police could have taken the time to get. They don't know what happened to Lonnie, but they know where he was right up until he disappeared.

Then all hell breaks loose. The security system in the mansion is not working someone's been in it that they did not know about. Maybe it's been hacked by the same person or persons who are seriously trying to use computers to get to their money. Lonnie's house is "scrapped" trashed for the resources drug addicts could sell, like copper and aluminum and so forth. And then Lonnie's body is found, definitely murdered.

This new series is engrossing, well thought-out, and just plain fun. Hooray!

Diana Borse is retired from teaching English at Texas A&M University-Kingsville and savoring the chance to read as much as she always wanted to.

Reviewed by Diana Borse, June 2018

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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