Nothing reminds me of old "I Love Lucy" episodes more than Kris Neri's latest Tracy Eaton mystery, Revenge of Route 66.. I can just picture the thirty-five-year-old Tracy, daughter of two Hollywood actors, crying "Waaaaahhhh" when things don't go her way. The mystery writer and amateur sleuth admits that childish behavior suits her. That "Waaaaahhhh" would be perfect.
Tracy's latest caper involves her father, actor Alec Grainger, her husband, Drew, and Drew's con artist uncle, Philly. Since Drew is no longer convinced he wants to practice law, he's available for Tracy's latest birthday present, a trip with Dad along Route 66. Maybe it's appropriate that her birthday falls on April 1. This whole trip seems to be one huge prank.
Tracy and her father always started from California, but never went much farther than Tecos, New Mexico on their Route 66 adventures. Alec had a friend there, Lucy, who ran a little restaurant until she ended up in prison for life for shooting her lover. Alec still took a fatherly interest in Lucy's son, Woody, though. This time, when Alec and Philly went to Tecos, everything started to fall apart.
Tracy should have had clues when she started receiving messages to hurry. Route 66 was an honored tradition with her father, and she and Drew took their time. And, soon after they arrived in Tecos, Woody was killed. Naturally, in this "Lucy" episode, everyone scurries around since they suspect each other, since all four were in the restaurant the night Woody was murdered. As blackmail notes start to surface, it turns out Woody wasn't as nice as Alec claimed, something Tracy knew all along. By the time Tracy learns the FBI is searching for her, she's no closer to learning the truth. But, she's delighted with her new notoriety. "Going on the lam has long been one of my greatest fantasies." And, she starts to put pieces together while on the run.
Kris Neri's latest Tracy Eaton escapade can best be summed up with a line from the book. "Truly, everyone on Route 66 was putting on a show." If you remember that while reading, and think of this as one giant "I Love Lucy" caper, none of the ridiculous episodes will appear too outrageous. Revenge on Route 66 is a non-stop funny caper, wrapped up in the form of a mystery.
Kris Neri's website is www.krisneri.com
Revenge on Route 66 by Kris Neri. Cherokee McGhee. 2013. ISBN 9781937556020 (paperback), 258p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The author sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.