Thursday, January 29, 2015

Book Review: Workman's Complication by Rich Leder

resizedFINAL McCall Workman's Cover 2.22
Workman's Complication
Rich Leder
Genre: Mystery
Off-off-off-off Broadway actress Kate McCall inherits her father’s New York private investigation business after he’s a whole lot of murdered in a life insurance company elevator.
A concrete-carrying, ballroom-dancing construction mule says he fell off the scaffolding and can never work—or dance—again, and then sues the contractor for a whole lot of money.
Kate assembles the eccentric tenants of her brownstone and her histrionic acting troupe to help her crack the cases, and they stir up a whole lot of trouble.
But not as much trouble as Kate, who sticks her nose in the middle of the multi-million-dollar life-insurance scam her father was investigating and gets a whole lot of arrested for murdering a medical examiner.
Will Kate bust the insurance scam, prove who really killed the examiner—and her father—and get out of jail in time to pull off the ballroom sting of the decade? She might, but it’s going to be a whole lot of hilarious.

My Rating:

4.5 Stars

Favorite Quotes:

 “But the acting career path I was planning took a sharp left turn when I got pregnant at sixteen and gave birth to a boy, Matthew, exactly on my seventeenth birthday.  The young man who assisted in getting me pregnant left immediately for San Francisco to be, among other things, gay.”

“She was a person who deserved an adjective at all times, at least in the privacy of my own mind.”

“From Jimmy, I had inherited some distinctly Irish DNA that had compelled me since childhood to do precisely whatever I was forbidden to do.”

“Warren wasn’t a particularly nice man either.  Forty-five years of opening doors for people who wouldn’t give him the time of day if they were wearing two watches had worn his patience and self-esteem thin.”

My Review:

This cleverly written and highly entertaining book is difficult for me to classify.  It was at times raucous, a smartly written comedy that is shrewdly funny, but is also an intriguing mystery, a romance, a family drama, and an addicting tale.  I was already chuckling and snorting in merriment during the first chapter.   I enjoyed all the quirky characters but my favorite has to be the large Chinese handyman name Fu, who verbalizes only five different English words through most of the story.  The writing is crisp, fast paced, smartly humorous and richly detailed.  I could almost smell the descriptions.  I derived a great deal of enjoyment in the main character’s repurposing of the clothing and costumes for her undercover work, that had been acquired and amassed throughout her acting career as wardrobe, while also describing the bizarre or eccentric role, production, or character she had previously portrayed while using the garments.  After years of off - off Broadway, she continues to describe herself as an “aspiring actor” with a long list of other jobs she has held at various times… although after nearly thirty years and now at age forty-five, her adult son believes she should be well past the aspiring phase and on to a more stable and down to earth profession.  In attempting to solve her father’s murder, she miraculously stumbles through several dangerous encounters and whacky plot twists, including a high speed car chase, car theft, breaking and entering, computer hacking, marijuana growing, fraud, impersonating a police officer, hand to hand combat, boxing, shooting a dead man, ballroom dancing, and musical theater.  Like I said, hard to classify, but extremely easy to appreciate.  I would love to read more of these adventures in subsequent volumes.
Empress DJ

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Empress DJ, for your great review! Kate and company get into plenty of trouble in the second book, McCall & Company: Swollen Identity. I'm so glad you had fun with Workman's Complication!