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False Profits    by Patricia Smiley order for
False Profits
by Patricia Smiley
Order:  USA  Can
Mysterious Press, 2004 (2004)

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Life has settled down for Tucker Sinclair after her divorce. She's living in a cottage on Malibu Beach, with her actress mother Pookie and Pookie's Highland terrier Muldoon. She's jockeying for a partnership in a financial management firm. Everything looks good - including some of the men she runs into during the course of her day - until a potential client walks into her office and thoroughly disrupts her life.

A huge sum of investors' money disappears and Tucker has a week to find it or face legal charges. She digs right in but didn't expect her search to include murder and attempts on her own life.

This first novel by Patricia Smiley is a winner. Full of fun and skulldugery, the action moves quickly and with good purpose. The characters tend to be a bit quirky. But aren't we all - a bit quirky that is? Tucker's take on the world is grounded and she's not afraid to move out of the box. Her reputation is on the line as well as the chance at a partnership. She'll do what it takes to come out on top - including squirming under restroom stall doors to escape someone who's out to do her harm.

It's a thoroughly delightful book with a heroine who is new and fresh. Keep writing, Patricia. You have the first of a great new series in False Profits.

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