When her new job at a movie studio turns deadly, the daughter of a renowned private investigator is her company’s only hope—and the highlight of this debut mystery.
Years ago, Corrie Locke and her father cracked a murder case that could have put an NBA superstar in prison. Now she’s relieved to take on a comparatively tame position as an entertainment lawyer in sunny Newport Beach, California, where she’ll be far away from danger—or so she thinks. When Druby Valdez, the company’s former head of security, is found dead at the bottom of a lake, his co-workers suspect foul play. But Corrie is reluctant to tackle the case on her own. Her “gene for caution is a recessive one, but it’s still there,” and conducting a murder investigation is not an easy thing to do while navigating office politics. Corrie’s misadventures with her co-workers are as fun to read about as her amateur sleuthing. Inside the Complex—“a place filled with intrigue, deception, secrets, and beautiful people”—Corrie has more egos to manage than contracts to write. She deftly turns her business meetings into excuses to dig for clues, risking certain termination (as well as unwanted attention from lecherous executives) if she focuses on the wrong person. Meanwhile, Sideris also reveals, through Corrie’s other cases (a missing cat and a possible alien abduction), how Corrie’s past may have led her to her present. The author paints Corrie’s co-workers as being as devious as cartoon villains, so the list of suspects quickly becomes unwieldy. However, she also adds gentle humor and a touch of romance. Outside of work, for example, Corrie’s childhood friend Michael is sincere when others are superficial. He becomes her likable partner in fighting crime—and possibly more. Another memorable ally is Veera, a security guard and a first-year law student, who comes to work as her assistant, fending off Corrie’s enemies with creative threats like, “I’m going to dislocate all of your limbs. Then I’m gonna pour Kool-Aid all over your sorry ass and plant it in an ant’s nest.”
A smart caper with a heroine to match.