A Southern California Mystery
Corrie Locke, newbie lawyer and daughter of a late, great PI, is learning the ropes at the Hollywood movie studio where she works--and where things are never what they seem. Life imitates art when a fictional murder attempt turns real--right before her eyes.
With more than a little help from friends and a crazy movie legend, Corrie trips down a trail littered with wisecracks, mysterious messages, and marginally legal maneuvers to track down the killer. Meanwhile, clues keep disappearing and Corrie makes an enemy whose deadly tactics keep escalating. Will her impromptu sleuthing skills be enough to catch the mysterious assailant before he takes her down?
He pedaled the bicycle hard and fast down the narrow, deserted alley, stealing glances behind him. It was a late, warm Friday afternoon somewhere on the eastside of Los Angeles where police protection was scarce and hoodlums plentiful. Two and three story buildings huddled together on both sides of the rider. Graffiti stained the walls.
Hunched over the handlebars, the cyclist whizzed past a dented metal dumpster, unsettling newspapers and milk cartons pressed against a doorway. The collar of a gingham dress shirt stuck up beneath his red pullover and a backpack flopped behind him. Chuck Taylors clinched his nerdiness, as did the argyle socks. He looked fresh out of a computer lab, on his way to the library. There was nothing unusual about him, if you didn’t count the bulging eyes, gritted teeth and heavy panting. His expression belonged on a trapped animal.
A black sedan barreled around the corner, tires grinding and coughing up pieces of asphalt. Leaning his torso out of the passenger window, a muscular guy in a white T-shirt clutched a revolver. He aimed at the cyclist, fired three times and missed.
The rider angled around a corner and skidded to a stop. Dropping the bicycle on its side, he stumbled over the upturned wheel moments before the car crushed the bike beneath its fat tires, spitting out a tangle of metal and chrome. The car parked, and two thugs spilled out. They raced after the cyclist, guns drawn. The nerd careened toward the side of a brick building and jumped up, arms outstretched above his head. The silver cuff around his wrist glinted as he grabbed the bottom rung of a fire escape ladder, legs flailing wildly. The ladder creaked and swayed. He’d barely started the climb when the hoodlums fired. And missed again.
“Oh, brother,” I whispered.
The nerd scrambled onto a landing and dove through an open window.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Lida Sideris' first stint after law school was a newbie lawyer's dream: working as an entertainment attorney for a movie studio...kind of like her heroine, Corrie Locke. Lida lives in the northern tip of Southern California with her family, rescue dogs and a flock of uppity chickens. She was one of two national winners of the Helen McCloy Mystery Writers of America Scholarship Award for her first book.
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4 out of 5 stars
Murder: Double or Nothing by Lida Sideris is part of the ‘Southern California Mystery’ series that features attorney and sleuth Corrie Locke, whose job at a movie studio shifts from the legal work she was hired for to investigating a murder using everything she was taught by her late father. Aided and abetted by her friends and allies and complicated by the powerful actress she’s ostensibly working for, Corrie follows a serpentine path in search of a killer who may also have her in his or her sights.
This mystery story is a romp that is more of a cozy mystery despite being set in the sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles and some of its surrounding cities. The breezy but determined techniques utilized by Corrie to achieve her goals are entertaining and impressive, and her sidekicks definitely liven up the action with their expertise and unconventional techniques. There are plenty of red herrings and a fun sprinkling of movie studio glitz and misdirection with a bit of international flavor thrown in.
I haven’t read the other stories in the series, so some of the backstory had to be inferred, but I had no trouble reading this as a stand-alone story. I would have liked a bit more depth to some of the secondary characters and I thought some things were a little too easily ignored or swept over but this is still a fun light read. There are a few dangling threads that are apparently part of the series arc but I enjoyed getting to know this heroine and her stalwart assistants and I was particularly gratified to learn that she is feisty as well as tenacious, even if she is a little wishy-washy in the romance department, lol. I look forward to seeing what other sticky situations she gets herself into and out of.
A copy of this title was provided for review