STRIP POKER by Nancy Bartholomew


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Sierra Lavotini’s craziest Christmas ever begins when her boss Vincent Gambuzzo loses the Tiffany Gentleman’s Club to charter-boat captain Mike Riggs in a poker game. Before the club’s new owner has the time to savor his victory, armed robbers break into the club, and the resulting gunfire leaves one of the cardplayers, whining Dennis Watley, dead, and Tiffany bouncer Bruno Bronkowski nearly so. But the thieves, when Sierra (Movie Strip, 2000, etc.), in the first of many unlikely developments, makes contact with them, insist they didn’t kill anybody, and indeed the bullet that killed Denny came from Vincent’s gun. Since Vincent doesn’t have the gumption to shoot anyone, Sierra knows he’s been set up by somebody else in the room when the shots broke out. Was it Busted Beaver owner Izzy Rodriguez? Undercover vice cop Joe Nolowicki? Distracting Barbie doll Angel (née Yolanda)? A member of the Tiffany staff? Riggs himself? The puzzle is so simple it ought to be a real teaser, but instead of developing it, Bartholomew piles on distractions. Sierra and her fellow exotic dancers, now unemployed, are propositioned by slimy Izzy. Sierra’s called back to Philadelphia by her mother’s illness. Sierra worries that her lover, Panama City Beach Detective John Nailor, is getting back together with his ex. Moose Lavotini, the Cape May mobster Sierra’s mendaciously claimed as a relation, turns up in the flesh. Sierra finds another corpse.

It’s all in good fun, though you have to feel for Sierra’s psychotic neighbor Raydean when she asks, “You ever think you might have an attention-span problem?”

Pub Date: Nov. 19th, 2001
ISBN: 0-312-26259-0
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Minotaur
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2001


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