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by Jennifer Apodaca
Kensington, February 2006
304 pages
ISBN: 0758209886

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

There are very few things in life that can bring a huge smile to my face. One is a big tax refund from the Internal Revenue Service, the other is a copy of Jennifer Apodaca's latest novel in the Samantha Shaw series. Her newest book is called THRILLED TO DEATH and that is exactly how I am feeling right now as I write this.

Samantha Shaw is a single mother and the owner of a dating service in Lake Elsinore, California. As the novel begins she is consolidating her business with that of her private investigator boyfriend Gabe Pulizzi as they tear down the walls that separate their independent businesses.

Samantha wants to get a private investigator license so she can legally help in some cases. She has a knack for detecting, to the horror of her mother, but ever since her no-good husband left her she is taking matters into her own hands. Gabe will be mentoring her until she can fulfil all the requirements to get her license. However, things are going to get complicated when a new reality show is about to be filmed at Lake Elsinore

Shane Masters makes a living ruining up-and-coming magicians by exposing the secrets of their acts to an audience. In this particular case, he is going to be filming a television special exposing another magician whose identity is being kept top secret.

As a retired magician, Samantha's grandfather has a great love for the craft and he will not take any desecration lightly especially in his own backyard. He has a past connection to Shane, which makes this even more personal. Samantha's job is to make sure that her grandfather does not get into any trouble. She loves him dearly, but he can be a wily conniver. Things are about to turn bad, and she knows it. All she can hope for is that nothing bad happens to her grandfather. What does happen turns out to be interesting after all and the cops are fingering her grandfather as the main suspect.

What makes this series a great read is the passion Apodaca puts into her writing. She knows what she likes and she manages to put it on the page. In a previous review of one of her other novels I mentioned that she does not have to work at being funny, she already is and this book is no exception. She manages to be an original inside the mystery field and each book continues to entertain richly. This book is no exception. This is someone who loves what they do and it shows. Kudos.

Reviewed by Angel L. Soto, January 2006

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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