Los Angeles private investigator Mary Cooper is armed and dangerous. She also carries a gun. Her primary weapon, however, is her quick wit and razor sharp sarcasm. Be it family, her on-again-off-again boyfriend, a Police Sergeant who’s brought her in for questioning, or even witnesses she’s trying to get information from, no one is safe from Cooper’s withering quips.
Lest you get the idea Cooper’s a total bitch, however, it soon becomes clear that sarcasm is the shield she wields to keep people from getting too close, and that she actually cares very deeply about her family. It’s that family bond which gets the ball rolling in Death by Sarcasm when Cooper is informed that her uncle, a has-been comedian, was murdered in an alley behind the comedy club where he was working.
Despite specifically being warned off the investigation by the Police Sergeant in change, there’s no way Cooper is going to sit back and wait to see if they get results. And when she’s approached by a group of her uncle’s old running buddies, also comedians, and learns that another member of their comedic fraternity has also been killed Cooper realizes there’s something bigger than just her uncle’s murder going on. As her investigation deepens, Cooper begins unearthing skeletons that someone would rather stay buried, someone who’s willing to bury Cooper to keep her from getting too close to the truth.
Author Dani Amore has described Mary Cooper as “Stephanie Plum on meth,” and I admit I found it to be an intriguing comparison. The reality, however, is that Mary Cooper is tougher (unlike Plum, Cooper carries a gun and knows how to use it), smarter (she has a degree in Criminology), and would reduce Stephanie to tears in under 30 seconds with her sharp tongue. That the majority of the investigation unfolds in and around seedy, second-rate comedy clubs in Los Angeles, and the sleazy promoters and wannabe comics who work in them, provides Cooper with ample opportunity to cut loose, often with literally laugh out loud cut-downs and quips.
Far from being all about the one-liners, however, Death by Sarcasm is also packed to the gills with hard hitting action and a non-stop plot. During the course of her investigation Cooper gets into a shoot-out with a sniper, blown-up, knocked unconscious and left to drown, shot, attacked by a group of septuagenarians in Richard Nixon masks (a scene that has a much nastier edge to it than the visual would imply), and yet she still keeps coming like the Energizer bunny from hell. Indeed, in Mary Cooper author Dani Amore has introduced a welcome shot of estrogen into the normally male dominated private investigator genre. Watch your backs, gentlemen, Cooper’s more than capable of holding her own, coming on strong, and her Death by Sarcasm cuts like a knife.
Death by Sarcasm is available at Amazon.