A Pointed Death: First in the Pointer Mystery Series

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Russell’s junketing thriller, set in the biotech ménage of San Francisco, involves the murder of a former colleague and eventually entwines with an international bioengineering espionage scheme. Be prepared for contemporary romance and a cultural, geographic enchiridion of the Bay Area, but prepare yourself for a SF driving route monologue that could have been abridged.

Forty-something, “techno wiz” Nola Billingsley is shocked when she finds her former, rapacious accountant beheaded on a bench at the popular Fort Funston dog walking area. Trying to recover from a failed dot.com enterprise, Nola resumes her biotech consulting business and is quickly pulled into the murder and the motive behind it when she connects the deceased to prospective clients. After a strange package addressed to the former accountant arrives in the mail, she becomes convinced that the company that sent it, is connected to the murder. Nola uses her professional connections and a consulting ruse to get inside the company and purloin information from their computer files. Along the way, she makes the acquaintance of Robert Harrison, a tall, handsome detective, who is also recovering from losses of his own. Nola finds that living with Janie Belle, her plucky, church-going Southern mother, is not exactly conducive to romance, but her Pointer, Skootch, does make for a dependable sleuthing companion and accompanies her on numerous reconnoiters—a practice adamantly discouraged by her new beau.

The author—obviously determined to expand our vocabulary—generously peppers the story with unique verbiage and humorous situations. The book generally has a “chick lit” feel—our protagonist walks us through her fashion choices and lipstick applications, but the plot has tension and the characters have personality: a fun indulgent picaresque for a rainy weekend.

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Star Count 4/5
Format Trade
Page Count 333 pages
Publisher CreateSpace
Publish Date 24-Aug-2011
ISBN 9781450563093
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue May 2011
Category Mystery, Crime, Thriller


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