Greek 20-something turns gumshoe after her Big Fat Wedding goes bust.
In this hardcover debut by a romance-writing duo, Sofie Metropolis falls victim to that growing fictional trend, the story about the maid of honor who steals the groom (see Giffin, above) on the eve of the wedding. (Or in this case, at the church, five minutes before the scheduled wedding.) Rather than return to waitressing at her grandfather’s or father’s competing restaurants, Sofie signs on as a private investigator for Uncle Spyros in the melting-pot enclave of Astoria, Queens. When not investigating lost pets, she drives around in her rattletrap Mustang convertible or presides over the apartment building her parents gave her for a wedding present. The main event in this series-launcher is an assignment from a local auto-shop owner to spy on his cheating spouse. When Sofie stakes out a motel, supposed site of the illicit amours, her brother’s prized camera takes a bullet for her, and she catches on that this is not just another adultery case. A body in a motel room disappears and gruesomely reappears as a “floater.” On the flimsiest of pretexts, Jake Porter (think Crocodile Dundee with far less witty repartee) crops up and lights a fire in Sofie’s loins that only several more novels could extinguish. The mysteries Sofie sleuths—How and where did the wife disappear from the motel? Why is the FBI involved? Who dognapped her mother’s neighbor’s vicious terrier? Are the two Transylvanian-accented men down the street really vampires?—are far less compelling than the questions that go unanswered. What happened to Sofie’s heirloom engagement diamond? Where is Uncle Spyros anyway? What’s the basis, besides bad skin, for the enmity between Sofie and NYPD officer “Pimply” Pino? Why, other than to supply under-the-hood metaphors, is Jake constantly tinkering with Sofie’s Mustang?
Slapdash and derivative.