Midnight Ink, Jun 2007, $13.95
Twentyish Cauley “The Obituary Babe” MacKinnon wants to make it as a highly respected reporter. She feels being an obit writer is stuck in the muddy ooze underneath the lowest rung of the journalistic food chain ladder.
When her sometimes boyfriend FBI hunk, that is agent Tom Logan, asks her for a favor besides sharing the sheets, she agrees to help him on a witness protection case as long as he provides her with the SCOOP. He wants her to write and print a fake obituary for Wiley Ray Puckett; Tom wants to keep him safe until he testifies against the El Patron gang leader Selena Obregon. However, Wiley is murdered anyway and a dead canary left by Cauley as a warning to back off or her obit will be next. With her faithful companion at her side (that is Marlowe the dog not Tom the rat who told her to back off) Cauley, being a typical sweetened tea Texan searches for Wiley’s missing sister Faith.
Though the coincidence meter is way beyond the top metric of plausibility (then again this is in the Austin area), chick lit investigative readers will enjoy Cauley’s latest escapades to obtain a scoop so she can escape the dead letter office hopefully without her own obit written. The zany story line is fun to read if the audience ignores the doses of luck (more than the sugar her mom puts in the tea) that leads Cauley one heel at a time on her inquiry. Tom is always there at the right moment whether that is for some kissing or for some rescuing, sub-genre fans will laugh with the antics of the heroine of this lighthearted mystery.