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Romance novelist Powers’s mystery debut lands a congresswoman in hot water just because her party’s second-ranking member gets stabbed to death in her office.

The gentle way Carly Wagner talks to her chimp Abe Lincoln when she takes him out of the cage shows that Carly would be all heart if she weren’t already all legs, which is how she persuaded the voters in her south Texas district to send her to Washington to represent their interests in the US House. Carly’s so principled that she runs afoul of minority whip Alistair Dunhill when she refuses to toe the party line on the upcoming health-care bill. In addition, she’s all guts. That’s why she rejects her party’s offer of protection when she discovers Dunhill’s corpse in her desk chair, with the member’s member clutched in his hand. Instead, she braves the media alone and takes on DC police detective Sarge Brown mano-a-mano. But she can’t shake her ultimate protector, a mysterious, sexy Anglo-Asian-African American agent named Jones who shows up in a skintight black catsuit. This guardian angel, who’s been hired by an unnamed client to watch as she ignores Brown’s instructions not to investigate the case herself, breaks down Carly’s formidable resistance with skill, panache and super-tight buns.

Less a mystery than a lesson in really gross anatomy.

Pub Date: Sept. 25th, 2006
ISBN: 0-312-35799-0
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Dunne/Minotaur
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2006