Three ladies of a certain age stumble into adventure and romance in the first of a planned series featuring the Lemon Drop Martini Club.
Fun-loving retiree Constance Canary Woods’ life is thrown into chaos when one of her best friends, Catherine, a columnist for a Denver newspaper, writes an exposé about a local Mafia family’s drug ties and becomes the target of a mob hit. Constance, Catherine and their third pal, Cynthia—the leading ladies of the Lemon Drop Martini Club—hope to elude the killer by laying low at a secluded lake house. Once settled in their luxurious hideaway, the women become entangled in a series of misadventures, as dimwitted, accident-prone mobster Donatello “Dusty” Galucci stalks them around picturesque Grand Lake Village. Along the way, gruff private investigator Mick Carelli connects with the crew and becomes Constance’s love interest, although their budding romance is almost derailed by a vengeful ghost that attaches itself to Constance in a misplaced supernatural subplot. In spite of some of the more dubious plot twists, the members of the Lemon Drop Martini Club aren’t bad company; they’re game for anything and greet every new challenge with a stiff drink and their signature toast, “Here’s to your liver, lover!” It would certainly be wiser, given the imminent threat, for the ladies to maintain a low profile instead of constantly hitting the town and to keep their faculties intact by downing fewer martinis—but that kind of hard-nosed practicality would rob the novel of its good-natured joie de vivre. Dusty is so inept that he barely registers as a threat, allowing the focus to remain squarely on the group’s good times and romantic intrigues. Jones (Cowgirl Up!, 2012) seems less interested in creating tension than in demonstrating that the baby boomer set can still throw down, and by that measure, she admirably succeeds.
A high-spirited, if somewhat silly, thriller that highlights the enduring joys of female friendships.