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HONKY TONK KAT by Karen Kijewski


by Karen Kijewski

Pub Date: June 4th, 1996
ISBN: 0-399-14133-2
Publisher: Putnam

 Not the best month for country-music sensation Dakota Jones: Somebody's been sending her threatening letters and unsolicited subscriptions to Seventeen and Prison Life; somebody's upstaged her Memphis concert with a flash grenade; somebody's killed singer Joni Ames, leaving a note on the body, ``NOW WE'RE EVEN, DAKOTA.'' (Still on the horizon: a dropped spotlight that nearly crushes Dakota, and a batch of cookies like mama never made.) And that's not all: The day after the murder, both Dakota's long-lost cousin Hope Delaney and the father who abandoned her as a baby turn up on her doorstep and want into Dakota's mÇnage. Luckily, Sacramento p.i. Kat Colorado, an old friend of Dakota's whose shingle ought to read ``MENACED INNOCENTS OUR SPECIALTY,'' is on the job, spiriting her off to hiding, taking a jaundiced look at her poor relations, and pointing the finger by turns at Dakota's abusive ex, her double-talking manager, and the lover who's two- timing her with sloe-eyed little Hope. From early on, Kat and Dakota are both so maddeningly sententious--``You help people rewrite their lives, Katy,'' Dakota tells Kat, who weighs in with gems like ``Truth is rarely easy, I think. And almost always a double-edged sword''--that you just want to shake them; but once the omnithreatening characters take over, the story takes off. So Kat's seventh is better than her recent cases (Alley Kat Blues, 1995, etc.), though still not up to 1992's Copy Kat. (Mystery Guild alternate selection; author tour)