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Cut, Paste, Kill: A Lomax and Biggs Mystery    by Marshall Karp order for
Cut, Paste, Kill
by Marshall Karp
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2010 (2010)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Cut, Paste, Kill follows The Rabbit Factory, Blood Thirsty and Flipping Out as the fourth in Marshall Karp's hilarious Lomax and Biggs cozy mystery series, set in Hollywood, California.

This witty crime solving venture pits LAPD Detectives Mike Lomax and Terry Biggs against a serial killer with a passion for justice ... and for scrapbooking! Scenes of Mike's family life are enlivened by his interactions with his trucker dad, Big Jim Lomax - who is concerned about Mike's lover Diana, worrying that 'Her biological clock is spinning like a windmill in a hurricane' - and with 'pint-sized genius' Sophie, whom Mike and Diana end up babysitting. The serial killer is equally amusing, selecting victims with the assistance of two Ping-Pong-ing felines named Dizzy and Wayne, and delivering a scrapbook after each kill, detailing why that target was chosen.

The first victim used diplomatic immunity to avoid consequences for killing a ten-year-old boy while she was blind drunk. Others include a pedo-priest and a dog fight trainer whose pit bulls tore apart a Chinese deliveryman. The FBI get involved and Mike and Terry partner with Special Agent Simone Trotter - their banter is very entertaining. The after-kill scrapbooks end up leading the investigators to state prison inmate Gladys Wade. She was jailed for shooting 'a two hundred-and-fifty-pound wife beater' who threatened her at the battered women's shelter she runs. Gladys gets out of jail free after making a deal and snitching on a fellow inmate, released before her.

Case solved? Not so. Karp tosses in plenty more twists and turns to keep readers on their toes, and the killings continue. When the murderer's motivation is finally revealed it's a doozy, emphasizing for Mike that 'justice and revenge are not the same thing'. If you like an engrossing police procedural with pages peppered in wit and humor, you won't go wrong with Marshall Karp, of whom James Patterson aptly says, 'Think Robert Crais meets Janet Evanovich.' Cut, Paste, Kill is a crafty winner!

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