February 17, 2013

Review: Kick up your Heels

Spying in High Heels/ Killer in High Heels
The High Heels Series, Books 1 & 2
Gemma Halliday

Published: Aug 2006/
Mar 2007

Mass Market Paperback, Making It, 324p./310p.
ISBN: 9780843957358 / 9780505527127

Spying in High Heels:  L.A. shoe designer Maddie Springer lives her life by three rules: Fashion.  Fashion.  Fashion.  But when she stumbles upon the work of a brutal killer, her life takes an unexpected turn from Manolos to murder.  And things only get worse when her boyfriend disappears - along with $20 million in embezzled funds - and her every move is suddenly under scrutiny by the LAPD's sexiest cop.  With the help of her post-menopausal bridezilla of a mother, a 300-pound psychic and one seriously oversexed best friend, Maddie finds herself stepping out of her stilettos and onto the trail of a murderer.  But can she catch a killer before the killer catches up to her?
Killer in High Heels:  L.A shoe designer Maddie Springer hasn't seen her father since he reportedly ran off to Las vegas with a showgirl named Lola.  So she's shocked when he leaves a desperate plea for help on her answering machine - ending in a loud bang.  Gushot?  car backfire?  Never one to leave her curiosity unsatisfied, Maddie straps on her stilettos and, along with her trigger-happy best friend, makes tracks for Sin City in search of her MIA dad.
Maddie hits the jackpot, all right.  She finds not only her dad, but also a handful of aging drag queens, an organized crime ring smuggling fake Prada pumps, and one relentless killer.  Plus, it seems the LAPD's sexiest cop is doing a little Vegas moonlighting of his own.  In a town where odds are everything, Maddie bets it all on her ability to out-step a vicious murderer.  She just hopes her gamble pays off... before her own luck runs out.

Gemma Halliday has breathed new life into my bookshelf with her delightful series.  Maddie Springer isn't the most switched on woman ever to grace the pages of a book, but boy is she fun to read.  This woman seems to get into so many awkward situations that she reminds me of Stephanie Plum - one of my all time favourite characters.
Maddie, a successful childrens shoe designer (is that a cool job or what!), seems to stumble into dangerous situations with amazing ease.  For someone who works from home, and has a hot cop for a boyfriend, you'd think life would be easy for her, wouldn't you?  Think again.  With a nose for trouble, and a headstrong can-do attitude, Maddie annoys the hell out of her guy, Ramirez, with her constant digging into other people's business.  His frustration in keeping her out of it runs parallel with her ability to sniff out information vital to his cases.  It doesn't matter that she's often on the wrong track.  Like Stephanie Plum, she falls into crap and comes out smelling like a rose!
I know I haven't gone into book specific detail, but as I'm talking about 2 books, this is just my impression of the series and characters so far.  I am going to collect the rest and will post as I read them.  I want to see what happens with her relationship with Ramirez, and who her man-eating best friend Dana ends up with.  Does her mother stay married?  Does her alternative lifestyle dad reappear?  Will Maddie and Ramirez make it?  Stay tuned.

If you love Janet Evanovich, Stephanie Bond, Karen E. Olson or Mary Stanton then I'm sure you'll enjoy this series.


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