Saturday, January 16, 2010

ANGEL'S TIP by Alafair Burke (2008)

In ANGEL'S TIP, three female Midwest college students decide to spend Spring Break in NYC where, on their final night on the town, they use their fake I.D. to get into a trendy nightspot in the meat-packing district. When it's time to head back to the hotel to snatch a few hours' sleep before flying back to Indiana, Chelsea Hart decides to stay on in the VIP room of the elite club, flirting with handsome strangers while her friends Stefanie and Jordan call it a night.

Cue NYPD detective Ellie Hatcher, a looker herself, who is on her morning run with her brother Jess who is flopping at her apartment while he's trying to make it as a musician. Ellie comes upon the mauled corpse of what turns out to be Chelsea Hart, her legs splayed, lingerie on display, and stabbed several times, including on her face.

In this mystery, you'll be carried along from clue to clue in step with Ellie and her partner J.J. Rogan and your heart will thump just a little quicker as you begin to unravel the knot of deception that leads to the truth about who killed Chelsea Hart and why. You'll be white-knuckling it all the way through to the satisfying end.

I especially enjoyed the pop-cultural references to books and tv shows of my early adolescence including Judy Blume's BLUBBER and then-scandalous WIFEY and the misheard lyrics to the theme songs for ALL IN THE FAMILY and THE JEFFERSONS.

Alafair Burke knows her genre and is already writing at the top of her game.

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