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The Butcher of Beverly Hills    by Jennifer Colt order for
Butcher of Beverly Hills
by Jennifer Colt
Order:  USA  Can
Broadway, 2005 (2005)
Softcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Pat Elliott

If two pairs of private eyes are better than one, then you must have the best with twin PIs Terry and Kerry McAfee in Beverly Hills. They call their company Double Indemnity. These identical redheaded twins ride a pink motorcycle and for some reason, wherever they go, dead bodies turn up.

Kerry describes the two as identical down to their toe hairs. In her words, 'If one sister left skin cells at a murder scene, the other could be convicted of the crime.' But there are differences. Kerry, the good twin, calls her sister her evil twin. Terry, not above going outside the law, says Kerry is good for organ transplants. How would I describe these red headed detectives? In two words - soft-hearted and poor. They live in an 850 sq. ft. house off Beverly Glen Road between San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles. In Kerry's words, 'It was built for the Keebler Elves in the 1940's.' But they love the house and their independence, and wouldn't trade it for their Aunt Reba's millions or her mansion in Beverly Hills.

Speaking of Aunt Reba, she's really the one that got them into their current mess. Aunt Reba's bosom buddy Lenore needed help to get out of a pickle. Terry and Kerry were too soft- hearted to say no. Lenore, a rich widow, married the wrong young man. Now she's hiding out in an expensive hotel in Beverly Hills, recuperating from her latest face lift. It seems her young man deserted her, taking her jewels. She wants him found and the jewels returned. Terry and Kerry find him all right, just before he is shot to death in the house he shared with his sister - or maybe it was his wife. Right before he's killed, the girls find $10,000 that they are sure belongs to Lenore, so they promptly confiscate the money and scram.

If you are bit mixed up at this point, it gets worse, in a hilarious romp through the streets of Beverly Hills, among the rich and not so rich. The bodies stack up. The Russians are involved, along with insurance agents, doctors, and expensive paintings. During the investigation, the soft-hearted twins adopt orphan dogs, that belonged to wealthy (now dead) owners. No doubt Pomeranian Paquito and the pug named Muffy will be in the next book, The Mangler of Malibu Canyon, along with Aunt Reba and the pink motorcycle. Probably Kerry's policeman friend will be there too, but maybe not. He can't tell which twin he is kissing. I look forward to the second installment in the lives of Terry and Kerry McAfee.

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