A Lomax and Biggs Mystery by Marshall Karp
Review: LAPD homicide detectives Mike Lomax and Terry Biggs investigate a series of murders that hit a little too close to home — the victims are the wives of cops and Terry's wife may be next, in Flipping Out, the third mystery in this series by Marshall Karp.
Bestselling author Nora Bannister has hit on an innovative idea to boost the sales of her books: buy a house in need of an upgrade, throw a few dollars into sprucing it up, then set her next murder mystery at the house, giving it instant notoriety not to mention a premium price tag. The series is a hit. She allows some of her closest friends, wives of LA's finest including Marilyn Biggs, to become partners and profit from the successful venture. But when one of the women is killed, and then another, it's clear someone is targeting them. But is it because of their success in flipping real estate, or because they're married to a cop?
Narrated by Mike, who delights the reader with his wry perspective on both his fellow officers and the investigation, Flipping Out is both a suspense-driven murder mystery as well as a darkly humorous novel. Though they are partners, Terry assumes more of the limelight here, after all it is his wife who may have a target on her back, but Mike steps in when Terry starts to overplay his role. It's a nicely balanced relationship, and the banter between them genuinely entertaining. The plot is cleverly devised, rarely pauses, and the transition from the setup and introduction of characters (read suspects) to the investigation smoothly and skillfully handled. Though red herrings abound, they are all consistent within the context of the story and offer real alternatives to the reader trying to identify whodunit.
Fast paced with plenty of twists and turns, at times wickedly funny, Flipping Out works on many levels as a crime novel. It is highly recommended.
Acknowledgment: William Morris Agency provided an ARC of Flipping Out for this review.
Review Copyright © 2009 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in Flipping Out: Los Angeles, California
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Flipping Out by Marshall Karp — A Lomax and Biggs Mystery
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: March 2009
List Price: $24.95