It's always fun to catch up with Lucky O'Toole, troubleshooter at the Babylon casino/resort hotel in Las Vegas. There will always be hijinks, troubles with Lucky's mother, Mona, a little romance, great recurring characters, and, of course, a murder or two. That's true in Deborah Coonts' latest mystery, Lucky Catch.
At the same time, so much has changed. Mona is pregnant, and running for political office. Lucky's best friend and former lover, Teddie, has returned, breaking her heart again, just when she thought she'd found peace with a new man, Jean-Charles Bouclet, a world-renowned chef. And, all of this has caused Lucky to lose her grip. Even her mother has noticed. So, when there are troubles with the Last Chef Standing competition, such as a missing truffle, Lucky doesn't take it seriously enough. But, when a food supplier is found dead in Jean-Charles' food truck, and he disappears, she starts to worry. Chefs seem to be in the line of fire for a killer, and, while the police see Jean-Charles as a suspect, Lucky sees him as a target.
Coonts' latest romp is a convoluted caper with a few too many chefs to keep straight. And, it takes Lucky a little too long to find her footing. She's too unsure of herself, not like Lucky. Mona recognizes it, telling Lucky that she "had guts, a willingness to tackle life", but that she lost it for a while. It's part of the storyline, but it dragged on for too long. Lucky needed to find her stride in this book.
Saying that, my favorite part of the book was still the return to the Babylon with all of Lucky's friends, her assistants Miss P. and Brandy; the private detective, "The Beautiful Jeremy Whitlock"; Romeo, the police detective that works closely with Lucky; Lucky's parents, and, even Teddie. Lucky's life, with all of its ups and downs, all of its adventures, wouldn't be the same without these characters. A caper wouldn't be the same without wonderful, well-drawn characters.
Deborah Coonts' Lucky O'Toole capers offer charming characters in the make-believe world that can only be Las Vegas. Lucky Catch reunites all of them in a mystery involving the killer world of culinary genius and competition.
Deborah Coonts' website is www.deborahcoonts.com
Lucky Catch by Deborah Coonts. Cool Gus Publishing. 2014. ISBN 9781500194529 (paperback), 255p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The author had a copy sent to me, hoping I would review it.