Private eye Savannah Reid (Poisoned Tarts, 2008, etc.) works up a sweat investigating the death of a fitness freak’s husband.
Clarissa Jardin has built her exercise empire on encouragements like “Go, you tub-o! Move that lard!” But when it comes to reporting her husband Bill’s disappearance, she’s no ball of fire. It takes the Mistress of Pain and Gain five full days to let Detective Sergeant Dirk Coulter of the San Carmelita PD know about her AWOL spouse—time enough for his body to turn up facedown in Sulphur Creek. Savannah helps Dirk pull an all-nighter prodding the medical examiner to finish the postmortem, sweet-talking the crime lab to process Jardin’s Jaguar and watching her assistant Tammy Hart enhance photos of blood spatter in the glove box. Moving ever forward, the pair discovers Jardin’s mistress Sharona Dubarry, a pack of gambling debts to a mobster named Pinky and a second liaison with Clarissa’s sister Rachel. At length Bill’s mom Ruby Jardin, convinced that Clarissa did away with her son, hires Savannah to get the goods on her daughter-in-law. But when Savannah’s sister Marietta shows up at her doorstep, it’s lights out for San Carmelita’s favorite sleuth, who conks out on her couch mid-wisecrack.
As usual, her tongue is the muscle that gets the most exercise as lively Savannah sets one and all straight.