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SCARY STUFF by Sharon Fiffer


by Sharon Fiffer

Pub Date: Oct. 13th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-312-38778-5
Publisher: Minotaur

Jane Wheel, professional garage-sale picker and quasi-professional detective, finds her brother’s doppelgänger.

Visiting her brother Michael in Los Angeles, Jane Wheel opens a drawer and discovers many valuable Hall of Famer rookie baseball cards. Alas, they’re fakes bought on the Internet, though they may explain why perfect strangers are accosting Michael in the street until they get a closer look and say, “No, the eyes are different.” On meeting one of Michael’s harassers, Jane learns that her brother’s doppelgänger, Honest Joe, who has what looks a lot like Michael’s photo on his website, is selling those fakes from Herscher, Ill., one town over from Kankakee, where Jane promised Detective Oh that she would sit for her p.i. license test so that she could become his partner (Hollywood Stuff, 2006, etc.). Home she goes to investigate. With a bit of help from her nearest and dearest—her best friend Tim, a wickedly witty gay garage-sale maven; her mom, irascible tavern-owner Nellie; and Detective Oh—Jane uncovers a long-kept family secret while focusing on the shenanigans going on in an allegedly haunted house.

Somewhere en route to better plotting, Fiffer has drained Jane of her ebullience and humor, whose loss may account for her husband’s defection. But Tim can still provoke a good chortle, and many readers will be charmed into picking up a knife and carving a leer into a pumpkin face.