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Wickedly clever farce featuring strange bedfellows, missing millions, and a bald con woman.

Mitch Greiff is not just a boring accountant—he’s a boring accountant to the stars! But some of his more alert celebrity clients have noticed the huge sums transferred out of their bank accounts into black holes somewhere in the Cayman Islands galaxy. Where’s the money and who took it? Hey, wait a minute, where’s Mitch? His elegant wife Patricia, a former model with a heart of gold, has no idea, but she’s secretly relieved that she won’t have to take care of his super-expensive tropical aquarium ever again. Any rare fish that hasn’t already dropped dead can just go to hell—and that also goes for the two NYPD detectives who would like a little more information, please. She can’t get rid of them. In fact, the younger one, Anthony Ballestrino, would like a date with the lovely Patricia. She demurs but not for long. Meanwhile, Detective Sprague discreetly investigates the person who signed off on the wire transfers: Erica King, Mitch’s closest associate, a snarling pit bull in support hose and dowdy clothes. Cherchez la femme? Not this one. Erica’s private life is utterly uninteresting. No steamy affairs, no needy relatives, no . . . , hey, wait another minute. How come she’s always buying furniture? Looks like Erica has more than one apartment, more than one wig, and more than one identity, each with a different Social Security number, ID, and bank account. Painstakingly tracing the movement of all that cash between several versions of Erica brings the detectives tantalizingly close to solving the case. But Erica still stays one step ahead of them. And where’s Mitch? Holed up in Queens, enthralled by Erica’s freakish charms and empowered by his sudden freedom from all responsibility. But he can’t get his hands on a penny of the money—unless, that is, he can escape.

Who knew fraud could be this funny? A winner from Block (Was It Something I Said?, 1998).

Pub Date: June 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-345-46184-3
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Ballantine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2003