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    A fun plot, neatly tied up in dry humor

    Dare I say that Kate McCall is an actress; not a ‘real’ private investigator at all? McCall, who held a PI license only because she helped her father, Jimmy, at times with his PI business, found herself in possession of that business after her father’s bizarre murder. Feeling the need to avenge Jimmy and angry at his assassin, she is using her acting abilities and her PI business to find Jimmy’s killer. Her decidedly odd group of friends and neighbors from her building and her theater company help her in their escape from a humdrum existence, make a few bucks , and occasionally, out of true concern for Kate’s well-being. Now, she is facing her second case as a private investigator; one that will totally tax her skills of observation, manipulation and her ability to think logically…how can she tell two perfectly identical twins apart when both are free spirits and have unlimited resources at their disposal? What happens when one twin wants the other dead, McCall has no idea which twin hired her, and the twins both play reversible rolls to the hilt. The twin’s father is ninety-two, ill and subject to die leaving a 10 billion dollar estate divided between the twins and both of them are determined the other will have none of it. Into this mix, throw a business executive murdered in same manner as Jimmy leading McCall in a second direction chasing the killer. Complicate the murder with a pugnacious business partner everyone loves to hate as the prime murder conspiracy suspect, a second business partner whom no one suspects but who has a foreign agenda of his own, a pissed off Manhattan Assistant District Attorney who happens to be McCall’s son, a pissed off NYPD detective who wants to solve cases and keep McCall alive at the same time, and a crooked Weehawken, NJ, homicide detective and all hell breaks loose in the Bronx. Swollen Identity is a rousing romp and entertaining read for mystery action readers of any age. McCall is a complex character and in Swollen Identity she is shown to be much more complicated than originally suspected…or at least even more confused. Fu, her friend and ex-Chinese mob assassin, acquires a new parrot, Jerusalem Joe; Jerusalem Joe is McCall’s payment to him for saving her life five times. Fu, however, still speaks in three to five word sentences. The reader is introduced to Warren’s ten-year old Toyota Corollas each of which Warren has lovingly named, and to Al as the ruthless manager of his illegal car rental company. They are just one more cog in the gear of oddball personalities that make up McCall’s associates and ensure that she survives her PI business. In all, a fun and challenging (for McCall) plot neatly tied up in dry humor and presented through unlikely scenarios guaranteed to make it a fun read.

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