A trip to the gym proves anything but healthy for a writing professor at a midwestern college.
Nick Hoffman and his companion, Stefan Borowski (Tropic of Murder, 2004, etc.), have joined trendy Michigan Muscle to lose some of the weight they gained in the Caribbean during State University of Michigan’s winter break. Nick, who’s wandered into more than his share of murders, ends up sharing a steam room with the corpse of the head trainer. Once it’s clear to him that Vlado Zamaria is really, really dead, he can’t help wondering who whacked the spandex Casanova upside his handsome head. Maybe Nick’s addled because Stefan has been acting weird ever since his last book went print-on-demand. Maybe it’s the prodding from his Canadian colleague Juno Dromgoole, whose luscious curves are almost enough to make a man go straight. Or maybe it’s his hunch that his academic career has stalled and he should make detection a full-time gig. Whatever the reason, once he starts, no one can stop Nick—not cardiologist Alfred Aftergood, who warns him not to probe into his wife Celia’s affair with Vlado; not manager Heath Wilmore, who accuses him of harassing other members; not even Detective Darius Fahtouzi, who reminds him to leave police work to the police.
Raphael’s wit is quick as ever, but not even Vlado could tone up this flabby plot.