Friday, November 14, 2008

"Don't Make Me Choose Between You and My Shoes" by Dixie Cash

It's the return of the Domestic Equalizers! Yes, our feisty hairdressers/private investigators are back, and this time, they've been invited to the Big Apple by the National Association of Private Investigators. The ladies are nervous about their presentation, and more importantly, flying to New York City, but they're packing their bags and holding their heads high. This invitation means they are legit - being recognized by their peers. And, of course, being in the Big Apple means a chance to shop!

Debbie Sue Overstreet and Edwina Perkins-Martin are the lovely if somewhat bumbling duo known as the Domestic Equalizers. They've actually solved a few high profile cases (sort of by accident really, but a closed case is a closed case, right?), so they're thrilled when asked to be guest speakers at the NAPI conference. There are a few little details about getting to NYC, though, namely Edwina's utter terror at flying. She can get on a plane if necessary, but it requires some "medication" to do so, something that almost gets them thrown out of the airport before they ever get the chance to board. And once in NYC, they feel very much like the proverbial fish out of water, recognizing that they might come off as hicks from the sticks.

If you're familiar with the Dixie Cash books, you know there's always a romance in it, and this one is no different. Since Debbie Sue and Edwina are very much married, the author also introduces us to a fellow Texan at the conference, Celina, a librarian from the tiny Texas town of Dime Box. Celina has been robbed by a con-man on her Greyhound bus to NYC, and when our ladies learn of her plight, they tell her to stay with them in their luxurious accommodations to help her save on expenses. Celina is thrilled; not only does she like and feel comfortable around our dynamic duo, she won't have to pay for her tiny room at the Y. The ladies meet up with Matthew McDermott of the NYPD and a fellow presenter at the conference. Matt, of course, takes an interest in Celina - thus we get a romance.

The mystery part comes in near the beginning when a prostitute is killed. It seems like it's not even part of the plot, but several people at the conference are talking about a string of murders that are still unsolved. Seems there have been 7 or 8 "working girls" who have been killed, and there's practically no evidence for the police to follow up on. A hint is dropped early on that the murderer might be a cop, which would mean that the killer could be there at the conference. And there are some "professional" girls hanging around the hotel, high-class ones at that. Debbie Sue and Edwina meet one of them, Cher, and take a liking to her despite her chosen line of work. Will the Domestic Equalizers be able to solve the case and keep Cher from danger? Will Celina and Matt fall in love and live happily ever after? Will Edwina be able to afford that pair of Jimmy Choo's that she's had her eyes on?

You have to read the book, silly! I like these romantic comedies that the author puts out; they're easy reads and usually have a happy ending. Sometimes that's exactly what I want to read - not great literature, but surely entertaining. Just a little fyi - Dixie Cash is actually the pen-name for the writing team of sisters Pam Cumbie and Jeffery McClanahan. And yes, they really are from Texas!

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