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SWAPPING PAINT by Joyce Lavene


by Joyce Lavene & Jim Lavene

Pub Date: May 1st, 2007
ISBN: 0-7387-1020-2
Publisher: Midnight Ink/Llewellyn

Murder crashes a NASCAR event.

It’s a NASCAR folkway that everybody should pick a favorite driver to pull for, but few ever pulled for poor Ricky Sanders. Ricky was so hard to love that suspects abound when he’s discovered with his throat cut. There’s his ex-girlfriend, with whom he’d had a child and a falling-out; his team boss, with whom his relationship was noticeably thorny; and young Bobby Furr, with whom only yesterday he’d swapped paint, causing the kind of scary accident that almost wrecked Bobby’s car. It’s this last that converts Bobby’s older sister Ruby and her husband Glad Wycznewski from fans to sleuths—an especially welcome development for Bobby, since Glad is a retired Chicago homicide cop. Despite the angels in his corner, Bobby’s uncomfortable because he has motive, opportunity, an alibi shaky as a sputtering engine and Detective Frishburn of the Concord (North Carolina) PD on his tail, certain he’s hiding something. And indeed he is. But whatever that may be, Ruby tells her foot-dragging husband, he’s no killer. Glad listens to his wife—beautiful, sexy, 17 years his junior—and, as he invariably does, obeys.

Stock cars and stock characters. Racing buffs will like this latest from the Lavenes (Fruit of the Poisoned Tree, 2006, etc.), though mystery buffs probably won’t.