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Greasing the Piñata    by Tim Maleeny order for
Greasing the Piñata
by Tim Maleeny
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2008 (2008)
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Cape Weathers reasons, in Greasing the Piñata, that 'Being a private detective is a lot like trying to hit a piñata in the dark: you keep swinging around hoping to break the case wide open.' But he finds that 'detection is much more dangerous ... and potentially deadly.'

A U.S. Senator and his son are found dismembered on a Mexican golf course. Since these are the two men Cape had been hired to find, he makes tracks for Mexico. His sometime Asian sidekick (and I don't use the term sidekick loosely) Sally appears to give support and help where needed. Sally proves to be an interesting character, being an expert in all the martial arts as well as having the accoutrements necessary to practice those arts. It's a good thing she shows up as Cape finds himself in a heap of trouble. Her skills prove invaluable.

The back story might prove to be as intriguing as the murders of the father and son. What nefarious scheme had the Senator gotten mixed up in? And why was his daughter sent away to school with no explanation when she was a young girl?

Greasing the Piñata moves at a fast clip with enough action to please anyone's desire to live vicariously. Cape is a fun, new protagonist with more courage than is good for him and a keen sense of humor. He takes beatings in stride – I don't know if that's good or bad, but it helps to put him in the macho class. Tim Maleeny's first two Cape books - Stealing the Dragon and Beating the Babushka - were met with acclaim.

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