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Putting Lipstick on a Pig    by Michael Bowen order for
Putting Lipstick on a Pig
by Michael Bowen
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Putting Lipstick on a Pig is Michael Bowen's third mystery in the series featuring Rep and Melissa Pennyworth.

Rep Pennyworth has been asked to deliver a eulogy at the funeral of a man he couldn't stand! Virtually no one else could either. Rep accomplishes his task and moves on. To Milwaukee, in fact, where he is trying to convince his partners to open a law office. If he can make it pay, he can live in the city where Melissa has been offered a great job.

A young woman appears in Rep's office complaining that a photographer took her picture and altered it against her wishes to use in a calendar. Now the plot thickens. Even the eulogized man's past actions make appearances. The reader must pay close attention as legalese rears its head on most pages (Bowen is a real-life lawyer, who applies his expertise to his fiction).

A complex plot, involving murder and avarice, moves at times a little slowly through the pages. But when action occurs, it is hard-hitting and fast-paced. The characters are real and likable. Rep has a lot to learn about his new law practice in Milwaukee. If I were him, I'd stay out of the Wisconsin woods in deer season. The dénouement is a heartstopper.

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