Her work as a movie extra pays Rita Farmer’s law-school tuition and almost gets her killed.
Decked out as a cop for a film shoot, Rita Farmer (The Actress, 2008), wandering from the set in search of something edible, interrupts a thrashing in progress. The pummeled victim is Kip Cubitt, grandson of Amaryllis, the Iron Angel of Los Angeles and founder of the nonprofit ABC Mission. Rita is sniped at, but it could be worse: Her doppelgänger, a real L.A. cop, is shot dead in a drive-by. Naturally, Rita’s boyfriend, PI George Rowe, worries about her safety along with that of her five-year-old son Petey and her crisis-prone sister, a drama queen, but he can’t spare time to protect her because he’s off to Canada in search of a client’s champion beagle, dognapped perhaps by a rival handler. Rita’s snooping into Kip’s attack leads her back to the Mission, its $5-million bequest from Khani Emberton, and drug honcho Dale the Whale’s illicit plans for it. Upon George’s return, a marauding car careens toward him, and his apartment is firebombed. Rita’s welfare is further imperiled when her sister takes up with a lowlife from the Mission. It will take smelly disguises and fierce confrontations with Amaryllis before all schemes are put to rest and the lost beagle returns home for a snooze.
Rita’s sophomore outing leaves her playing second fiddle to Sims’s more appealing sleuth, Lillian Byrd (Easy Street, 2005, etc.).