Sin City. An artificial oasis of pleasure, spectacle, and entertainment, the gambling capital of America has reinvented itself so many times that it's doubtful that anyone knows for sure what's real and what isn't in the miles of neon and scorching heat. Las Vegas is considered the ultimate player's destination, no matter what your game. Las Vegas is the true city that never sleeps, where fortunes are made and lost every day, and where snake-eyes aren't found just on a pair of dice.
Bite into this delectable collection of "whodunits" from some of today's hottest mystery writers. Whet your appetite with Sara Paretsky's "Skin Deep," in which V.I. "Vic" Warshawski takes on a chi-chi salon after one of its clients turns up dead. For your next course, try Wendy Hornsby's award-winning "Nine Sons," a country schoolteacher's recollection of a gifted student whose farm life was more troubled than it seemed.
"an ok listen"
When Maggie MacGowen was a girl, her sister, Emily, lived the life of a leftist radical on the run from the FBI. Twenty-two years after the FBI finally caught her, Emily lives in Los Angeles, a doctor at a free clinic that tends to the city’s down and out. When one of her old radical buddies comes out of hiding and surrenders to the police, their long-ago crimes become front-page news. Emily calls Maggie, now a documentary filmmaker, and asks her to come visit. By the time Maggie arrives in Los Angeles, Emily is nearly dead.
"You had to be there; she wasn't"
After decades making progressive documentary films, Maggie MacGowen did not expect to fall in love with a Los Angeles cop. But Mike Trent, whom she met while investigating her sister’s shooting, is no LAPD stereotype. Tall, with salt-and-pepper hair and a craggy Bogart face, he inspires her to uproot herself and her daughter from San Francisco and move down to L.A. It takes only a week for their new life to collapse.
In Los Angeles making a documentary about upscale daycares, Maggie MacGowen visits MacArthur Park to get complementary footage of the pubescent prostitutes that populate its dark corners. There she meets Pisces, a fourteen year-old hooker with manners that don't match her profession. As they bond over a plate of pastrami, Maggie talks her into spending the night in a shelter. But Pisces comes with baggage: A nine year-old hoodlum named Sly.
In 1974, Roy Frady was a perfect cop. Now he's perfect fodder for one of Maggie MacGowen's documentaries. Frady worked narcotics in the 77th Street Precinct as part of a unit nicknamed the Four Whoresmen, a bunch of hard-drinking, womanizing cops that included Maggie's current lover, homicide Detective Mike Flint. They were successful at shutting down the drug trade in their district until a series of brutality charges brought about their downfall.
Filmmaker and amateur sleuth Maggie MacGowen is approached by a beautiful Vietnamese expatriate to find a scholar who escaped from Vietnam after the war, and abruptly disappeared. Maggie takes the case. Her only link with the Vietnamese community is her ex-husband, who conducted business in Vietnam. Now the web of intrigues, lies, and betrayals is about to trap everyone it touches, Maggie, her ex-husband, and even her daughter.
Ash falls on the cemetery like grey snow, blown in from a wildfire that burns a mile off. A crowd has turned out to watch Kate bury her mother, not because they loved her - nobody loved her - but out of curiosity. This town has never seen a murder so brutal. Suspecting a mugging gone wrong, the police comb the area for drug addicts. But then they find the rich old lady’s purse, full of cash and credit cards. The purse surfaced on the beach of Kate’s family home three days after the attack, which means the murderer is nearby.
Southern California homicide detective Roger Tejeda has "the gift" - a sixth sense for catching the most elusive kind of criminal, the serial killer. But Lt. Tejeda is now working with a handicap: half a mind. His last case left him with a skull fracture, lingering blackouts, and lapses of memory, all of which make it that much harder to figure out who would send him a gift box holding a severed head.