A trio of transvestite prostitutes—LaDonna, Chi Chi, and Jasmine—hire former dog trainer and p.i. Rachel Alexander (The Wrong Dog, 2000, etc.) to investigate the death of one of their sisters, Rosalinda, who had her throat cut Halloween night. Learning that Kevin Mulrooney, manager of a meat-packing plant in the same neighborhood, was also killed the same night, Rachel decides it’s no coincidence, and trains Chi Chi’s dachshund, Clint, to enter the plant through a cat door and open a window. Clint, happy to be free of his miniature red leather coat, pulls off the job, allowing Rachel to enter and fax company files to herself. Although Rachel forgets to plan a safe exit for the two of them, Chi Chi calls on the new manager and keeps him, ah, occupied while Rachel makes her escape. It’s no surprise that something is rotten at the plant, and it’s definitely not last week’s pork chops. When the impatient clients insist that Rachel join them on their patrols, she divides her time between jumping out of johns’ cars and working the hosiery counter at Saks in order to cozy up to the plant manager’s widow. As she sorts through the lies her clients tell themselves and the families involved tell each other, she realizes that there is no safe exit for anyone connected to “the life.”
The dachshund training is a stunt, but an exciting stunt. The vivid, sympathetic, and amusing characterizations of the transvestites linger long after Rachel’s boners and other improbabilities fade.