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Bumped Off in Baltimore    by Louise Titchener Amazon.com order for
Bumped Off in Baltimore
by Louise Titchener
Order:  USA  Can
Hard Shell, 2005 (2005)
Paperback, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

I can always count on Louise Titchener to provide a good, rousing read. She's done it again with Bumped Off in Baltimore. Toni Credella, PI wannabe, part time interior designer, and resident of Baltimore, Maryland, finds a man whose throat has been slashed. She has been acting as bodyguard for a budding opera star. This man had been stalking the singer. Then, a prospective design customer is found shot to death. Since Toni had been forced to shoot and kill her abusive husband, of course these new crimes have the police looking sideways at her.

Toni, while dyslexic, has been getting help with her disability and can read some of the various clues she accumulates even if it does take her three times the amount of time most readers would take. She rides a bicycle all over Baltimore because she can't get a driver's license. You have to admire her guts and persistence to live in a world that doesn't quite accept her. Speaking of accepting, her family turned their backs on her when she shot her husband, and have only now begun to defrost. They own a prosperous Italian restaurant Daddy runs the front in spotless Armani, while Mama labors in the kitchen producing the food. Daddy's long-lost brother shows up momentarily something about shooting his girlfriend's husband forced him to leave town in the dead of night. He does so again.

This is a fast moving book with lots of action and many threads that seem to dangle in mid-air until the author skillfully weaves them all together to produce a bang-up climax. I love the finely drawn characters I can visualize Daddy pouring on the charm in the front of the restaurant while berating Mama in the kitchen if all is not ready to his schedule. Don't miss this third in the Toni Credella series.

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