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by Janice Kaplan
Touchstone, August 2008
307 pages
ISBN: 1416532137

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

When Cassie Crawford dies in front of Lacy Fields, Lacy uses her behind-the-scenes knowledge and friends to find out who killed Cassie.

Cassie Crawford is taking a last walk-through on her newly redecorated penthouse before her husband, a Hollywood billionaire, sees it. Lacy Fields, the interior designer for this spread, is accustomed to the jitters this walk-through can inspire, both in herself and in the client. What she does not expect is for Cassie to take a header off the ladder in the library and die.

She knows she didn't kill Cassie, and it doesn't take much for the police to figure that out. What takes Lacy totally by surprise is that her best friend since childhood, Molly Archer, is a prime suspect. She and the billionaire are having some kind of relationship. Molly insists it is not the obvious kind, but she won't tell Lacy the details. In the meantime, all the negative publicity is killing Molly's business; she's a casting agent and nobody wants to have anything to do with her.

So Lacy investigates, because Molly is her best friend and she can't believe Molly would kill anyone, much less anyone who would do such damage to her livelihood. The police are not thrilled, and neither is Lacy's daughter Ashley. Ashley is giving her mother some teen-age angst, acting out problems, which Lacy handles (mostly) appropriately. Grant, the smart oldest boy, is a mother's dream. And Jimmy, her youngest, is the one who makes her laugh again. So Lacy is a well-rounded person, pretty secure in her marriage - or as secure as anyone in L.A. is apt to be. She doesn't turn her whole life over to this investigation, but she is persistent. And she does come up with the right answer. Eventually.

A JOB TO KILL FOR is an entertaining mystery, with some laughs and some scary moments. Kaplan balances the two very well. She also is good at sneaking in those little life lessons without beating the reader over the head with morality issues. The plot is believable, although Molly should have been a little more trusting of her best friend. Kaplan has done a good job with this second entry in her series.

Reviewed by P.J. Coldren, December 2008

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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