More frappé-fueled fun in Astoria, Queens, with the Hellenic wannabe hellcat.
Only two months ago, iced-coffee addict Sofie found her feet as a private eye (Sofie Metropolis, 2005). Sofie’s bodyguard/mechanic/Aussie heartthrob Jake Porter still refuses to reveal what he’s up to so far from Down Under or why he’s playing hard-to-get. She’s inherited a late client’s flatulent Jack Russell terrier and still hasn’t rid her apartment of the gifts from her big fat un-wedding. But she’s netted another case, tracking down missing Apostolis Pappas (Uncle Tolly) at the behest of his wife, Aglaia, who wants clear title to her hubby’s midlife-crisis Mercedes. An examination of the couple’s dry-cleaning business reveals that Tolly was cooking the books; apparently, he was laundering for local mobster Tony DiPiazza. The incriminating ledgers disappear from Sofie’s apartment, her dog is duct-taped to a toilet and a sedan full of mob goons tails her everywhere. Worse, her mother suspects her father of cheating and insists that she investigate. Sofie has the usual mundane gigs to distract her: photographing adulterous trysts and malingering workman’s-comp claimants, process-serving a cross-dresser and locating a lost ferret. Sofie tries to enlist the aid of her mob-and-ferret-phobic office manager Rosie, but the resulting Puerto Rican/Greek culture clash is less hilarious than intended. Potentially dangerous encounters seem to evaporate. Shockingly naïve even for a fledgling PI, Sofie goes to meet an anonymous informant on the Hellgate Bridge at midnight and sticks around even after noticing that cement mixer. Sharp observations of everyday life in an insular Greek-American community, including marriage mores that provide the key to Tolly’s disappearance, and a smashing recipe for spinach pie, provide too intermittent relief from the tepid thrills.
If the author(s), aka Lori and Tony Karayianni, insist on dropping in on Sophie’s antics every two months, we’re in for a long year.