Friday, May 28, 2010

“A Dose of Murder” by Lori Avocato

This book introduces us to female-sleuth Pauline Sokol. She is thirty-something, single and lives in New England with a platonic male friend named Miles. She is totally burned out having spent many years as a nurse and so one day she decides to just quit. (Haven’t many of us had that fantasy?)

Of course her parents don’t understand this. They are a full-blooded Polish couple, married and living in the same house for over 40 years. Her father lovingly refers to Pauline as his little “paczi”. A paczi is a Polish donut and it sounds like ‘paunchki’.

I once worked with a Polish woman who brought us paczis for a treat. I don’t remember what they tasted like. Pauline tells us that it is a very large donut with prune filling. Perhaps there is a good reason why I don’t remember what a paczi tastes like!

Roommate Miles has a solution for Pauline - his uncle might have a job for her as an insurance investigator working with medical fraud cases. Her background as a nurse would help immensely, and Pauline discovers as her potential boss ogles her, her good looks guarantee she’s got the job. She would be like an independent contractor of sorts, setting her own hours and getting paid when the job is done. Of course she will need all the latest surveillance equipment like a really good video camera.

Pauline’s very first case involves a woman named Tina Macaluso who conned an insurance company out of over $33,000. In an odd twist of fate, Pauline knows Tina - they went to school together.

So this should be easy, right?

(Stay tuned for more posts about this book).