BOOK REVIEW: THE MANGLER OF MALIBU CANYON
Jennifer Colt's book is a thoroughly entertaining mix of chick-lit, PI investigation and insightful satire of southern California myths and stereotypes.
Twins Kerry and Terry McAfee have a fledgling PI business in Los Angeles. Kerry is liscensed, Terry is not, owing to an unfortunate prior spell spent in a California correctional institution. They spin around LA astride a pink Harley, dote on two pocket sized dogs, and face the perennial dilemma of private investigators - finding enough clients to bring in cash and pay the bills.
An eccentric aunt calls them for help. It seems that as she was beginning a redecorating project for her new home on the beach in Malibu, a headless body rolled out of a coil of carpet awaiting installation. Things only get worse when their aunt's son come strolling home, carrying a woman's head in a mesh shopping bag.
Promising to find evidence to remove murder charges pending against their aunt and cousin, the McAfee's take up temporary residence in Malibu. Events swing between high comedy and high tension peril as Kerry and Terry investigate a swank addition recovery center, a group publicizing contacts with other worlds, a Hollywood producer complete with casting couch and an array of other entertaining California personalities. The presence of two attractive lawmen only adds to the fun.
This is Colt's second book in a continuing series. Her characters are nicely drawn and although events are often played for laughs, she does not descend into slapstick, nor strain to produce a laugh. It's a quick, fun read. Light, insightful witty books are always a delight. To dismiss it as "brain candy" would be a big mistake.
REVIEWED BY WOODSTOCK
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