Sunday, August 2, 2015

Review of Lane Stone's Current Affairs

Current Affairs: A Tiara Investigations Mystery.  Lane Stone.  Originally released by Mainly Murder Press in 2011.  Currently available on Amazon. Paper: $13.99.  ISBN-13: 978-1512265385; Ebook: $4.99.  ISBN-10:1512265381. 242 pp.

I read this first mystery in Lane Stone’s Tiara Investigations series in 2012.  Lane and I were both having our first mysteries published by Mainly Murder Press.  Several of us published first by Mainly Murder have gone on to publish elsewhere.  Lane says we’re MMP orphans.  I say we’re graduates.  MMP got us started. Lane’s second novel, Domestic Affairs, came out from Cozy Cat Press. She’s working now on her third one, Foreign Affairs.  

As I reread Current Affairs, I caught more of the humor and was also struck by how she plays with the Southern lady syndrome. Three former beauty queens, living in Georgia--Leigh Reed, Tara Brown, and Victoria Blair--form a detective agency which specializes in finding out what wandering husbands are up to. Their conversation and actions spoof the stereotype of the Southern lady’s proper behavior.  For instance, they discuss their sex lives.  All three are smart and have special skills which come in handy.  Victoria left the corporate world where she learned to be a whiz at computer technology.  Tara is a lawyer, and Leigh worked for the Park Service and is married to an army general.  She knows the military speak for weapons technology.  Yet they are, in scene after scene, whimsical and creatively mischievous.  They are laid back and yet right on the money.  Their side kicks are their three Standard Snauzers.  Leigh’s is Abby, Tara’s is Stephie, and Victoria’s is Mr. Benz.  Sometimes the dogs go out on cases with them–for defense.  They don’t carry guns.

The novel begins with their research into the amatory activities of local policeman Jerome Kent.  When they give their photos of Kent and a very young blonde to his wife, Kent threatens to close down their private eye business, but all their paperwork is in order.

David Taylor, their next client’s husband, is an engineer for a weapon the military is using.  His wife Kelly says he’s out a lot at night and takes private phone calls.  The Tiara three go in pursuit when he leaves his house after a phone call, but someone shoots him before they can discover who he planned to meet.  The dogs chase the shooter, and Kent shows up, not thrilled to have the women involved.  Naturally they turn up more information than he does, though to do so they get into ridiculous predicaments from which their imagination, skill, and whimsy extricate them.

Current Affairs is loaded with humor that works.  Humor writing isn’t easy to pull off.  I also like the human tone, the real love Leigh has for her general husband and he for her, though she is a peace activist. Genuine affection among the three friends binds them together as much as their interest in helping women catch their errant husbands.  In short, they’re outrageous, and their unlikely methods solve crimes.

Once you’ve enjoyed Current Affairs, you’ll want to read Domestic Affairs.  I look forward to the release of Foreign Affairs.


Lane Stone is a native Atlantan and graduate of Georgia State University.  She, her husband Larry Korb, and the real Abby divide their time between Sugar Hill, Georgia, and Alexandria, Virginia.  She’s a member of both the Chessie (Chesapeake) Chapter and the Atlanta Chapter of Sisters in Crime.  She also published with Jacqueline Corcoran Maltipoos are Murder, which is the first in their Doggie Day Spa Romance Mystery Series set in Middleburg, Va, “the nation’s horse and hunt capital.”

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