Monday, October 2, 2017

Monday #Review - Workman's Complication by Rich Leder #Mystery

Series: McCall & Company # 1
Format: Kindle, 373 pages
Release Date: September 7, 2014
Publisher: Laugh Riot Press
Source: Laugh Riot Press
Genre: Fiction / Mystery


Off-off-off-off Broadway actress Kate McCall inherits her father’s New York private investigation business after he’s a whole lot of murdered in a life insurance company elevator.

A concrete-carrying, ballroom-dancing construction mule says he fell off the scaffolding and can never work—or dance—again, and then sues the contractor for a whole lot of money.

Kate assembles the eccentric tenants of her brownstone and her histrionic acting troupe to help her crack the cases, and they stir up a whole lot of trouble.

But not as much trouble as Kate, who sticks her nose in the middle of the multi-million-dollar life-insurance scam her father was investigating and gets a whole lot of arrested for murdering a medical examiner.

Will Kate bust the insurance scam, prove who really killed the examiner—and her father—and get out of jail in time to pull off the ballroom sting of the decade? She might, but it’s going to be a whole lot of hilarious.

Workman's Complication, by author Rich Leder, is the first installment in Leder's McCall & Company series. Meet Kate McCall. Kate is an off-off-off-off Broadway actor playing the part of a vampire/subway ticket sales agent. But, Kate's world is soon shattered when she learns that her father was brutally murdered and left at a high rise called Monument Life Insurance Building. What's even more curious, is that Kate is left holding the bag. 

Of course the bag is actually a box. A box which pretty much contains all of Jimmy's important stuff. Kate's father was Jimmy McCall, the proprietor of McCall & Company Private Investigations. He had 10 pretty important rules for Kate to follow when she worked for him part-time in order to pay the bills. I picked out 5 of the relevant ones.

1. Don't Do Murder.
2. Don't trust anyone who lives or works above the 25th floor.
3. Never kiss a cop on the first date.
7. Don't break the law for just anyone.
8. Make sure your backup plan has a backup plan for its back up plan.

Kate is also Resident Manager of a Brownstone property in Manhattan which has an eclectic group of residents, including one Fu Chen. Fu is brilliantly written and given a strange but humorous script. Then again, the entire story borders likes on the zany, chaotic, and the absurd. Kate is approached by a building contractor who has a Workman's Complication issue. The issue is that a worker "supposedly" fell off a scaffold and hurt this back. Of course, nobody actually saw him fall. 

Said worker is also a pretty decent ball room dancer, and his grandmother is sharper than Bill Gates when it comes to scheming and fraud. With her son, a Manhattan Assistant District Attorney telling her to let the NYPD handle the case, what can a rookie Private Investigator hope to accomplish that others have been burned for? Why was her father's body found at Monument Life Insurance Building? If that wasn't creepy enough, he wasn't actually killed there. It seems he was dumped there.

To make matters worse, it looks like Kate has uncovered something so intense and so dangerous, that she might not survive to see opening night. This story has so many moments that made me either laugh, or read quicker to see what happens next. There is plenty of action as well, including one pretty damn impressive high speed chase involving Kate's group and the police. Yes, folks, there is also romance in this book. I think one of the main reasons I liked this book so much was the secondary characters. They are so colorful, and I dare use the word eclectic again when referring to them. They become more of a support mechanism than her own son for heaven's sake.

I am willing to read the next two books in this series. The why is because there are important things that need to be uncovered. I am wondering when/if Kate will give up her dream of being Sandra Bullock, and jump 100 percent into what's now her Private Investigation business. Could be some zany times to come. 

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