BOOK REVIEW: SECONDHAND SMOKE
In New Haven, reporter Annie Seymour is shocked to see the inferno engulf her favorite Italian restaurant Prego. Arson is suspected especially when a charred corpse is found in the wreckage. The police assume that the missing owner, Sal Amato, has been located or that is what is left of him. However, they quickly learn their error as the victim turns out to be the restaurantís hostess, LeeAnn Hayward.
Annie wonders if the local mob is involved as LeeAnn had some connections to them or perhaps the deceasedís violent prone boyfriend, Prego's chef, Mickey, who the police arrest for the homicide. Annie is confused as her father Sal who has come to town from Vegas and the FBI is investigating the arson murder for no apparent reason by either her dad or the Feds. Soon her father becomes the prime suspect so Annie joins already hired by Salís wife private detective Vinny DeLucia to investigate the crime only to learn that the Prego owner ran a chicken tic-tac-toe gambling operation with no pay offs to the mob.
In her second appearance (see SACRED COWS), Annie retains the same impish impudence that makes her a fun investigative reporter. Though some might balk at how often Vinny comes to her rescue, she is an intrepid person who daringly follows clues. The story line is action-packed as the audience begins to learn what really happened at Prego, to and by whom. This is one time that SECONDHAND SMOKE is fun to inhale.
REVIEWED BY HARRIET KLAUSNER
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