- format: Kindle (Amazon)
- Series: The Lucy Ripken Mysteries (#5)
- Paperback: 158 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (June 16, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1533615373
- ISBN-13: 978-1533615374
- source: review copy from the publisher
No matter how many murders she solves, Lucy Ripken never can seem to crack the case of happily ever after. Her bank account is nearly empty, her on-again off-again DEA boyfriend is off-again, and her estranged alcoholic father and enabling mother seem to exist mostly to prey on her weary conscience. It’s enough to make her feel that even New York itself has turned on her, and she might not be wrong. There’s too much money, and too many things people will do for that money. Her friend Patricia is part of the problem; easily seduced by wealth and fame, she’s always with the wrong guy. But this time is different, this time she thinks she’s found the one, and in a way, she’s right: she found the one who killed her. Sure, the coroner’s report says “drug overdose,” but when Lucy reads it all she sees is “Killed by rich jerk. Go get him, Lucy.”
Lucy Ripken is a photographer in her mid 30s, living in a loft in New York on the corner of Broome St and Broadway with her dog Claud. When Patricia's phone call comes she is ready for some human contact. Patricia has met a wonderful man, a Gulf War Vet, a self-made millionaire. Patricia is one of New York's beautiful, chasing a glitzy New York life, millionaires in particular. From the moment Lucy meets Patricia's latest, she feels he is not to be trusted. He appears to know all the right people, but all Lucy's instincts are screaming danger. And then when Patricia is killed by a drug overdose, she is sure that he is behind it all.
From the beginning, I felt perhaps this was a "younger person's" book, well, younger than me anyway. But the depiction of New York nightlife was absorbing. Lucy is engaged by a magazine to take photographs of a new night club with Russian connections and overtones. This assignment eventually helps her track down Patricia's killer.
I noted that this is the 5th in the Lucy Ripken series, so there was obviously some pre-history that would have added to my enjoyment of the book. Lucy's personal life is cleverly advanced by other events, and so her character is not quite the same at the end as it was when the story started.
Other books in the series appear to be
1. MURDER ON NAKED BEACH
2. MEXICAN BOOTY
3. THE X-DAMES
4. LUCY'S MONEY
6. SEX AND DEATH: THE MOVIE
My Rating: 4.1
About the author
Along with the Lucy Ripken series of mysteries, author J.J. Henderson has written nearly a dozen books on architecture and interior design, and travel guides to the Caribbean, Costa Rica, Oaxaca and Puerto Vallarta in Mexico, and Los Angeles. A native of southern California, Henderson lived in both New York City and Sayulita, Nayarit, Mexico before settling in Seattle, where he currently resides with his wife, photographer Donna Day, his daughter Jade, and Ziggy the Dog.