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False Profits
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      Excellent amateur sleuth!

Title: False Profits
Author: Patricia Smiley
Publisher: Mysterious Press (November 2004)

Genre: Fiction/Mystery
ISBN: 0892967900
Hardcover: 292pp



Rating: Highly Recommended


November 15, 2004


For seven years, 30-year-old divorcee Tucker Sinclair has worked for the financial advising firm Aames & Associates as a management consultant and is now being considered for a partnership. However, her risk taking methods make others within the firm somewhat nervous. Though since completing her work with Dr. Polk, a neurosurgeon, who was in need of capital expansion, Tucker feels confident she’ll get it.


That is until the Doctor turns up missing, money can’t be accounted for and the firm is being sued for 11 million dollars!


To make matters worse – her original files, which prove the claim is incorrect, are missing, and her Aunt Sylvia who has conveniently moved in with her dog suddenly claims the Malibu beach cottage that Tucker’s grandmother left to Tucker in her will, is hers! What Aunt Sylvia doesn’t reveal is that the land the cottage sits on is worth about 2 million.


Faced by a wall of secrecy, Tucker has too many unanswered questions, leaving her with no choice but to investigate the crime or face criminal charges of fraud and embezzlement. She has one week in which to clear her name, identifying Polk’s accomplice and the person who helped alter her business plan, while Mo Whitner threatens to turn her into the FBI, which could probably turn up an insurance scam as well.


Tucker isn’t going to waste a second, and finds herself investigating the crime-desperately hunting for clues. Her amateur sleuth skills lead to a number of high-level individuals, as well as her ex-husband, Eric, her own staff, the doctor’s insane receptionist, and confrontation with autopsy photos.


False Profits is not only the author’s debut novel, but is well written, fast paced and fresh. The result is a book you have difficulty leaving once you begin its reading. Sinclair Tucker, the fiery heroine would make Jessica Fletcher proud! Patricia Smiley is a talented author, and certainly one to keep an eye on - in a sequel perhaps?


Reviewed by Betsie

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