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    Review of I'M OKAY, YOU'RE DEAD by Joyce Spizer


    Intercontinental Publishing, 2000

    A note with half a bearer bond is too much temptation for private detective Mel Walker to resist. But when she shows up for the meeting, her prospective client is killed and her partner shot. With only half the bond in her posession, Mel feels compelled to take the case--if only to get the rest of her money. Ignoring police orders to stay away from the case, Mel tracks down the victim's identity--and enough motive for anyone to kill him. Still, although money is a good reason to kill, someone in particular did the deed--and Mel doesn't have a clue who it could be.

    Mel is an emotionally damaged protagonist with her policeman father's crimes to live down, a boyfriend who's in danger in an ex-Soviet republic, and an ex-husband who seems to want back into her life after a bout with alcoholism. Together with gay sidekick Johnnie Blake, Mel searches the web pages, police databases, and zoning offices of Orange County, California for clues to the murder.

    Author Joyce Spizer delivers a satisfactory, but unexceptional mystery. Mel is interesting, but falls short of being either funny or angsty enough to be really compelling. As a practicing detective, Spizer delivers convincingly on the basic tools available to the private investigator, but fails to offer the flash of insight that mystery readers like myself are looking for.

    Two Stars

    Reviewed 9/28/02

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