Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Deconstructing the Chick Lit Murder Mystery Genre

I have admired Janet Evanovich's "Stephanie Plum" series for years - I think Book #20 will be upon us soon.  She started the heroine in an exotic locale with an unusual job for a female.  The Burg, NJ; bounty hunter.

But Evanovich's heels are getting nipped at by a relatively new comer - Deborah Coonts with four books and counting in her "Lucky O'Toole" series.  Whether this style imitation was a deliberate act on Coonts part is unknown. 

Here's the formula as I see it (but I'm not creative enough to duplicate it, more's the pity.)

Exotic locale - Las Vegas

Job - Vice President of Customer Relations, the Babylon Hotel and Casino

Heroine - Lucky O'Toole, daughter of the Babylon owner aka "Big Boss" and Mona, former owner of a bordello in Pahrump, NV.

Boyfriends - She was dumped by Teddy, a female impersonator/singer/ songwriter who got discovered.  She claims he had a better wardrobe than she did. 

Possible love interests - the hunky French chef at the Babylon;  Paxton Dane, security/mystery man.

Jump start the book with a wildly insane murder:

Woman falls from a Las Vegas sight-seeing helicopter into the Pirate Lagoon at Treasure Island which, unsurprisingly, kills her. Or was she already dead when she went in?

A magician disappears in the middle of his act - for realsies.

In "Lucky Bastard" a beautiful woman is found splayed across the hood of a bright red Ferrari in the hotel showroom, stabbed in the carotid artery with the spike heel of one of her own Jimmy Choo shoes.

"Lucky Bastard" by Deborah Coonts   A Tom Dougherty Assoc. book
349 pages   $25.99

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