Cover photo of Current Affairs: A Tiara Investigations Mystery
Review: Current Affairs: A Tiara Investigations Mystery. Lane Stone. Mainly Murder Press, 2011. Trade paperback: $15.95. ISBN: 978-0-9836823-2-5. 237 pp.
What strikes me most about the debut mystery, Current Affairs, is its humor. A few pages in, and I was laughing out loud. Remember those early Evanovich mysteries? Here is Leigh Reed, a new voice, a Southern Belle voice, who doesn’t take her Georgia Beauty Queen status or her relatively affluent lifestyle very seriously. Leigh and her two best friends, also former state beauty queens, Tara Brown and Victoria Blair, have formed Tiara Investigations. Their cases consist mainly of helping married women document their husbands’ infidelity. They have not yet told their husbands.
They interview prospective clients at their favorite restaurant, the Cracker Barrel, usually over the breakfast specials. Their fees are reasonable, and often it takes only an hour of their time, once the wife has alerted them, to follow the "cheating, lying, sneaking" lovers, take a few photos, and later give them to the wife.
They use three throw-away cameras, to make sure they get those photos, and are usually accompanied by their three standard Schnauzer dogs, which provide protection in case they get in over their heads, which they soon do, when the husband they are to follow, is shot dead in front of their eyes, and another husband they’d nailed as fooling around is the investigating officer. He, and many other characters in this book, are regularly overwhelmed by their unpredictably zany behavior, dogs or no dogs.
Another paradoxical and so human aspect of this new mystery series is that Leigh is protesting the Iraq War, and her husband, The General, whom she loves passionately, is busy fighting that war. This is a great book for breaking stereotypes, and for fun, but it has a serious side as the Tiara women, hunting for the killer of their client’s husband (she loved him), invade the high-tech world of military weapons research and development.
Here’s a book without a dull moment but with a bone-deep honesty that draws you in to identify with characters willing to be fully themselves, outrageous behavior being their natural mode.
Look for the next Tiara Investigations, hopefully coming soon.
Author website: lanestonebooks.com
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Lane Stone lives in Sugar Hill, GA and Alexandria, VA. When not writing, she’s enjoying characteristic baby boomer pursuits: hiking in various countries and playing golf. Her volunteer work includes raising money for women political candidates. She’s a proud member of both the Chesapeake and Atlanta chapters of Sisters in Crime.
Lane Stone, author