Revenge for Old Times' Sake
A Tracy Eaton Mystery by Kris Neri
Review: Crime novelist Tracy Easton has a real-life murder mystery on her hands when the dead body of her husband's boss is found floating in her pool in Revenge for Old Times' Sake, the third mystery in this series by Kris Neri.
Tracy's husband Drew, a lawyer with Slaughter, Cohen (and a long list of other partners with their names on the door), had just concluded a high profile trial with lead attorney Ian Dragger — with a surprise acquittal for their client, Skippy Sullivan, head of Decency and Order in Life and on Television, DOLT for short — when she finds him punching his law partner in the nose, a news reporter's photographer conveniently handy to document the scene. Later that night, Tracy finds Dragger in their pool … dead. Naturally, the authorities suspect Drew, but Tracy quickly learns that Dragger had a long list of enemies, from opponents in the courtroom to celebrities in the media to his own wife, any or all of whom would be happy to dance on his grave. Together with her mother, actress Martha Collins, and mother-in-law, Tracy is determined to clear her husband's name … and to take whatever steps necessary to do it.
Revenge for Old Times' Sake is filled with colorful, animated characters, exaggerated for effect but just short of being caricatures. The situations are equally magnified, replete with hyperbolic statements that shouldn't be taken seriously … and aren't. But probably the most appealing aspect of the book takes the form of Tracy's mother, Martha, whose wry humor won't fail to bring a smile to even the most cynical mystery reader. After Tracy finds Dragger in the pool and Drew offers to notify the police, Martha says, "Since when do you follow rules? Next time, Tracy, be bold — don't tell them. It just makes it harder on everyone." There are also numerous film references that are fittingly appropriate to the given circumstances; the following exchange takes place later in the book:
My eyes drifted down to the pool. I couldn't believe what I saw there. I closed my eyes, and then quickly reopened them. But the vision remained.
"Mother, come here. Do you see what I see?"
She walked to my side and looked out. "I see dead people."
Thus demonstrating that the movies truly were her only frame of reference. But she was right. Once again, a stiff was doing laps in my pool.
Despite the "dead people", it's easy to forget that Revenge for Old Times' Sake is, indeed, a murder mystery, the story frequently overshadowed by the characters, situations, and dialog. Still, it's light and entertaining and not too demanding; a perfect summer read.
Acknowledgment: Cherokee McGhee provided a copy of Revenge for Old Times' Sake for this review.
Review Copyright © 2010 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
High Crimes on the Magical Plane
Red Coyote Press (Trade Paperback), November 2009
ISBN-13: 9780976673354; ISBN-10: 0976673355
Location(s) referenced in Revenge for Old Times' Sake: Hollywood, California
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Revenge for Old Times' Sake by Kris Neri — A Tracy Eaton Mystery
Publisher: Cherokee McGhee
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: March 2010
List Price: $16.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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