This sixth haphazardly plotted adventure for New York lesbian p.i. Sydney Sloane (Brotherly Love, 1993, etc.) packs her and her interior-decorator lover Leslie off to Nice to vacation and meet Sydney’s favorite niece, Vickie Bradshaw, and her sculptor fiancé Gavin. They arrive just in time to get the news that Gavin’s parents have died in a one-car accident—and to observe that their rented Mercedes left no skid marks before plummeting off the cliff. Furthermore, Gavin has gone missing; Vickie announces she’s a bride of barely a week, and a man walking a Scottie starts dogging Sydney’s footsteps. Although Eugene Porter, from the American Embassy, is no help at all, Vickie’s friend Winston Hargrove, a hugely successful romance author under a female pseudonym, treats everyone to frequent lunches and suppers, supplying the energy Sydney needs to snoop through Gavin’s studio, interview other artists, and mangle French pronunciations—till she finally gets pummeled by a tattooed skateboarder, leaving a gleeful Leslie in the role of associate snoop. To top it all off, there’ll be an attempted kidnapping, three more fatalities, in-depth chicanery at a café, a sweet tobacco smell wafting here and there, and a sighting of Gavin—until all is wrapped up by the Sûreté in a thoroughly unbelievable manner involving jewels, international borders, and a falling-out among thieves.
Sydney has charm, but she does keeps falling into goofy plots—only to be rescued, rather surprisingly, by men.