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Queen-sized investigator Josephine Fuller has an appealing (i.e., not self-deprecating) sense of humor; moreover she's comfortable with her body and confident in her abilities. In her third adventure (after Large Target and Larger Than Death), she wrestles with the murder of her ex-husband's girlfriend, angry vibes disturbing her apartment and a sleazy ex-con who's wormed his way into the heart and bed of her friend Maxine. The loosely constructed plot allows Seattle-based Josephine ample room to explore romance ("as a large-sized woman, I've developed extra-sensitive radar for men who see me as a sexual being, versus men who see a surrogate mom") and to consort with a cast of unusual and sometimes amusing characters such as ex-husband Griffin Fuller, photographer and congenital philanderer, and Isadora Freechild, lesbian and mountain-climbing author of Finding Your Vegetarian Inner Child. The murder of Francesca Etheridge, Isadora's sister and Griffin's girlfriend (and the probable cause of the split between Josephine and Griffin), provides the grist, but produces plenty of chaff too. Too many characters, too many blind alleys and some unexplained discrepancies weaken this entry in a series that has considerable promise. If Josephine's future cases offer challenges that match her size, she will be a formidable character. (July 9) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
"Of all the women's job skill centers in all the towns in all the Pacific Northwest, he walks into mine." This first sentence sets the tone for the sassy, brassy Jo Fuller's life of one-liners and emotional missteps. Teddy, the man who walks into Jo's job center, is the husband of Francesca, the woman Jo's ex, Griffin, left her for. Griff is a famed (and lecherous) photographer who became involved with Francesca when he photographed her mountain-climbing expedition. Francesca ends up dead, stabbed with one of her own mountain ice picks, and thus starts a merry chase with ex-spouses and ex-lovers turning up everywhere. New Age self-help, film stars turned politicians, and lesbian chic are affably satirized: Jo herself, a full-figured woman of the Camryn Manheim variety, has some acerbic things to say about how the world treats fat girls. This is a quick, intriguing series debut; one hopes that, in her next adventure, Jo will spend less time with her cat, Raoul, and more with Mulligan, who shares cat care and moves in downstairs. --GraceAnne A. DeCandido