This is the second installment of an entertaining crime series about Boston private investigator Josephina (“Fina”) Ludlow, 35, who works for her father Carl’s law firm. Two of her brothers, Matthew and Scotty, are attorneys at the firm, and the third brother, Rand, is manning an outpost of the law firm in “exile” in Florida.
This book seems very much like a female version of the Robert Parker “Spenser” series. They are both set in Boston and feature witty, sarcastic P.I.s who are attractive to the opposite sex and have lots of friends in positions to help them investigate cases.
In the case of Fina, because most of her family is involved in whatever case she is working on, there is also plenty of dysfunctional-family humor.
My only complaint with this book is that like some others featuring attractive, shapely female protagonists, the author portrays this woman as continually eating tons of high-caloric junk food, but with nary an ounce to show for it. (At one point Fina says she is blessed with a quick metabolism, but no metabolism is that quick!) It must be a popular fantasy for female writers, but to me, the constant junk food binging with no consequences is just distracting.
Evaluation: The crime portion is well written, but it seems – as with Parker’s “Spenser” series, the real focus (and appeal) of the series is the interactions among the P.I. and friends and family, and the very funny repartee. I laughed aloud often. Although this is the second book featuring Fina and her family, the author did an excellent job filling in the background. I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up more of this series!
Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons, a member of the Penguin Group, 2014