“Funny and witty, with a clever, outspoken heroine.” -Library Journal
“Rebecca’s lively first-person narration brands her a new detective to watch.” -Wilson Library Bulletin
A ROLLICKING TALE OF MURDER, ROMANCE, AND A BORDELLO…
“A lively romp of a novel … Smith shows an Agatha Christie-like capacity for making much ado about clues, concocting straw hypotheses, and surprising us, in the end … Smith’s crisp storytelling … and her likable, unpredictable heroine will make readers look forward to more.” -San Francisco Chronicle
Rebecca Schwartz, nice Jewish lawyer with a few too many fantasies, is happily playing the piano in a whorehouse when she suddenly finds herself assigned to make sure a near-naked state senator escapes a police raid. That dirty job done, a lovely evening turns even more delightful when she’s picked up by the cops and spends the next two hours at the Hall of Justice. Could this day get any worse? Of Course! Guess who arrives home to find a dead hooker on her living room floor!
Handsome Parker Phillips, Rebecca’s new beau and the most attractive man she’s met in ages, is arrested for the murder. (Worse, she suspects he might actually have done it.)
On the plus side, another very attractive man is following the case–reporter Rob Burns of the San Francisco Chronicle, a possible ally. And there are other possibilities.
Fans of Janet Evanovich, Stephanie Bond, and Elizabeth Peters will get a kick out of this one.
Basically, I am the kind of girl that mothers wish their sons would marry. But nobody’s son did, and anyway I couldn’t be bothered. I was too busy living up to my father’s ambition for me. Or what I imagined it to be. He always said, “Be a doctor, Rebecca. There’s no money in law,” but anybody could see he was joking. When I was a little girl, he used to take me to watch him in court, and when I was a teenager, he’d discuss his cases with me. What did I know from doctors? I had a lawyer for a role model.
Now if you had led this kind of life and someone came along and said, “Listen, how would you like to play the piano in a whorehouse for just one night—you’ll be among friends; nothing can happen,” wouldn’t you do it? Especially if it were a feminist bordello? It wouldn’t have to be a case of getting back at your mom.
I should explain about Elena. She is a prostitute, and she’s also very close to being a madam, only she isn’t quite because this is a co-op bordello we’re talking about. It’s co-op because ostensibly everyone has an equal say in decision-making and the money is split among the members, but Elena is actually the brains and the driving force of the thing. She’d be a madam in the old-fashioned sense if she weren’t political.
I got to know her when she got busted and Jeannette von Phister asked me to take her case. Despite certain reservations I have about prostitution as a feminist issue (“horizontal hostility,” Jeannette calls it), I was already on the legal staff of HYENA, the “loose women’s organization” Jeannette had founded. As you no doubt know, HYENA is an acronym for “Head Your Ethics toward a New Age,” and its ultimate goal is to get prostitution legalized.
Sitting over crab salad and white wine in my gray flannel blazer and Cacharel blouse, I felt pretty naive as Elena spun tales about a world of crystal chandeliers and high-heeled sandals. A world where indulgence of personal vanity was not only not condemned but was actually applauded. I loved getting a peek at it.
Why would anyone want to murder these guys? Detective Walker has to put family and everything else aside to solve these crimes before anyone else falls victim to this vicious killer the press is now calling “The Card Counter”.
As each victim turns up, the case becomes more traumatic and bizarre. The killer has a point to make and will continue to make people pay with their lives . . . until Walker and the rest of the city GETS IT!! Find out who is murdered next and follow Detective Walker until he uncovers the truth behind these killings, the twisted motive for this murderous rampage.
Amazon Reader Reviews of ‘Mystery Thriller & Suspense: “The Card Counter” A Horror Crime Fiction Detective Murder Mysteries book as part of Conspiracy Thrillers with Serial Killers’:
“Brilliant and riveting book! James Kipling has once again mastered his method of throwing the reader straight into this dark fantasy right from the start. An excellent detective story creatively wrapped into a mystery and suspense thriller. Extremely well written. Crime and Mystery fills the pages as dead bodies are found all over the place. An intellectual murder and mystery thriller as this detective does what he does best adding being a good father to this weird thought thrilling equation.
James Kipling has the book glued to your hands with his exciting writing style with crime and murder twists and turns. I highly recommend this book to those who enjoy the Author’s books but those enjoying a mystery and suspense thriller captivated in a dark fantasy. Yet again, Brilliant! ”
“This is a great pick when you need an intellectual puzzle, a suspensful thriller, and crime fiction with the thread of revenge running through it. The procedural is written in the first person, so we really get to know Devon, and that’s a great thing because he’s a cool guy. I liked his devotion to fatherhood, especially since we don’t have near enough serious genre characters who are also dads. Through his eyes we understand the high personal stakes he brings to all of his work, and especially to this case involving murdered students. I loved the way the relationship with his own daughter Cassie aids his work both as indirect inspiration and also directly. Big points to Kipling for pulling off those unique scenes.
The darker elements of the story don’t suffer at all from the family themes, in fact, kids are at risk throughout the whole story. Walker is a father but he’s first and foremost a relentless detective, and there is a lot of tension and action pushing the plot forward. Untangling the mystery is great, in a ripped from vengeful headlines way. Highly recommend this one for fans of crime fiction and suspenseful thrillers.”
“This is a hard book to put down! It follows Detective Jake Walker through a multiple homicide investigation, as well as his family life as he tries to be a good dad to his three daughters and deal with his ex-wife at the same time. Once the killings commence, it’s a roller coaster ride until the very end of the book. I ended up turning the pages as fast as I could in order to see what would happen next, because the author does a great job of keeping the reader guessing. Just when you think you know the pattern of the story, it twists an entirely different way. I thought I knew who the killer would turn out to be, and of course, I was completely wrong. Detective Walker’s character is very well-developed, so that the reader gets to know him both professionally and personally. Overall, this is a very readable suspenseful book that will keep you wanting more from this author.”