Monday, May 13, 2013

Review: Lucky Bastard

Summary: Lucky O’Toole, the newly promoted vice president of Customer Relations for the Babylon, Las Vegas's primo Strip property, has never met a problem she couldn't handle. But when a young woman is found dead, sprawled across the hood of a new, bright red Ferrari California in the Babylon's on-site dealership, a Jimmy Choo stiletto stuck in her carotid, Lucky's skills are maxed out.

Of course, her life is already on overload. Her mother, Mona, is pregnant, hormonal, and bored—a triple threat. A song that Teddie, Lucky's former lover, wrote for her is getting national airplay as he hits the talk shows, pleading for her forgiveness. Lucky is less than amused by the high-powered "infotainment" spotlight on her personal life. She's having enough trouble fending off Chef Jean-Charles Bouclet, the Babylon's tasty new dish.  

All of this and The Smack-Down Poker tournament, the second-largest poker tournament in the world, is holding its final round at the Babylon. Hookers, thieves, players, cheaters, media, and hangers-on descend, looking to win or to score. When one of the players turns up dead, Lucky starts to make connections between the two murders, putting her in the crosshairs of the killer. 

Then, just when she's losing control... life deals another major complication to her personal life... and it's not going to be pretty.

Lucky struggles to keep her life in balance, and a murderer from killing again. -- Forge 
Each and every year I look forward to the latest release on the Lucky O'Toole Vegas Adventure series by Deborah Coonts. The fourth book in this very fun series is called LUCKY BASTARD and is available tomorrow. I have to say that, once again, I thoroughly enjoyed this Lucky O'Toole mystery; and I truly am a big fan of this series!

LUCKY BASTARD picks up right where the last book SO DAMN LUCKY ended. In fact, if I remember correctly SO DAMN LUCKY kind of left the reader hanging. I don't want to give away too much about what occurred in the last novel (or the prior two ones either) although I think the "official" book description kind of does that anyway. Suffice it to say that Lucky is still licking her wounds from the sudden departure of her boyfriend Teddie, while trying to decide if she wants to take things further with a French chef. Lucky thinks that she has bad luck in the romance department, but as far as I'm concerned, she is always surrounded by some pretty sexy guys!

However at its core, LUCKY BASTARD is a mystery; and in the case of this novel, it's a pretty good one -- one that I found confusing in a good way. (Translation: I kind of figured out aspects of who was responsible but I couldn't piece together the whys.) A woman is found stabbed with a Jimmy Choo stiletto on top of a Ferrari inside the Babylon Casino, and Lucky's "friend" is the prime suspect. Then, a recently fired employee is found dead. And there just might be some truth to the adage that bad things always happen in threes because a poker player arriving in town for a huge tournament at the Babylon dies. It's up to Lucky, with a little help from her friend on the police force, to make sense of these three possibly related deaths.

Overall, I thought LUCKY BASTARD was a very entertaining read. I just adore Lucky, even with all of her quirks. She's smart, sexy, and funny and I love that the stories are told in her voice. Naturally, she's extremely tough as she solves all of the murder mysteries that come her way, but she's also very sensitive and trying to find the right guy with whom she can settle down. Her life is full of ups and downs (and various adventures) -- you wouldn't believe all of the fires she fights in her customer relations job at the casino; and she handles them all in a way that cracks me up. I can't stress just how funny these novels are.

In case you're wondering LUCKY BASTARD would work as a stand-alone. I think Ms. Coonts does a terrific job of filling in the reader with enough details about events in the past books. However, why would you want to start with book four in this fun series? Lucky is a great character and I love how all of these books combine events from her personal life with big-time murder mysteries at the casino. I definitely think it's a winning combination of romance and intrigue!

Once again, Deborah Coonts ended her novel with a pretty big cliffhanger... one which I adored! Of course that means that I will have to read the fifth book in the series, not that there was ever really any doubt about that. 

LUCKY BASTARD and the entire Lucky O'Toole mysteries are a hoot. If you are a fan of Janet Evanovich's books, then I highly recommend checking out this series.

Thanks to JKS Communications for providing a review copy of this novel.

Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read. 


bermudaonion said...

You've convinced me - I've GOT to try this series!

Beth F said...

Okay already ... must track down this series. LOL

The Sagging Bookshelf said...

Sounds like a fun series. I'm always looking for something more light to read especially after reading some more serious books lately.