Saturday, March 16, 2013

Review: Lucky Bastard (Lucky O'Toole Las Vegas Adventures) by Deborah Coonts

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books; 1 edition (May 14 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765335468
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765335463

Book Description

Lucky O’Toole may have been promoted to Vice President of Customer Relations for the Babylon, Las Vegas’ primo Strip property, but nothing has changed. When Paxton Dane, a former member of the Babylon’s Security detail turned Private Investigator, discovers a young woman dead, sprawled across the hood of a new, bright red Ferrari California in the Babylon’s dealership, a Jimmy Choo stiletto stuck in her carotid, he calls Lucky to handle the problem.

Lucky’s life is already in precarious balance. Her mother, Mona, is pregnant, hormonal, bored, and looking for ways to fill her days. Teddie, Lucky’s former lover, has hit the road on his quest to find international stardom. But, realizing he’s made a mistake, he writes a song for Lucky, then hits the talk shows, pleading his case. Lucky is less than amused with the national spotlight on her personal life. She’s having enough trouble as it is fending off the amorous attentions of Chef Jean-Charles Bouclet, the Babylon’s tasty new dish. Lucky feels mixing business and pleasure with the chef is a sure-fire recipe for disaster.

And the timing couldn’t be worse. The Smack-Down Poker tournament with all the media attention the second-largest poker tournament in the world attracts is holding it’s final table at the Babylon. Hookers, thieves, players, cheaters, media, and hangers-on all descend looking to win or to score.

When one of the major players turns up dead, Lucky starts putting the pieces together with the help of Cole Weston, a hearing-impaired professional poker player. They chase clues and suspects through Vegas to the storm drains underneath the city—where the runoff from a summer monsoonal shower turns deadly.

After a revelation by someone close to her sends her world reeling even further, Lucky struggles to keep her life in balance, and a murderer from killing again as bodies pile up.

Then, just when she’s losing control… life deals another major complication to her personal life….and it’s not going to be pretty.

About the Author

From Deb's web site:

I am proof positive that sex sells…and persistence pays off. After fifteen years learning the craft of writing, I am now officially, an overnight success. And it’s been a long road to get here…

My mother tells me I was born in Texas a very long time ago, but I’m not so sure—my mother can’t be trusted. These things I do know: I was raised in Texas on barbeque, Mexican food and beer. I’ve lived in every time zone in the U.S.; the most memorable stint being the time spent in Las Vegas, where I currently reside and where family and friends tell me I can't get into too much trouble...silly people.

The only constant in my life (besides my family, who deserves hazardous duty pay for sticking with me) has been change (my mother is still waiting for me to grow up). Silly woman.

But all of this career ADD made me incredibly unemployable. Hence the whole writing thing.
Actually, I’ve known from a young age that somehow stories would be a large part of my life, but my path to telling lies for a living (okay, not lies per se, but variations of the truth, for sure) has been circuitous. If someone had just told me when I was a kid that I could actually be paid to daydream for a living, life would have been soooo much easier. But they didn’t. And I never saw a ‘daydreaming’ booth at all those Career Days I attended.

So, initially discouraged when unable to locate anyone willing to pay me to read books, go to the movies, or attend the theatre, and in need of providing for the best child in the world, my son Tyler, I spent years being someone else—an accountant (blech), a business owner (pretty fun), a lawyer (loved law school, hated practicing law), a pilot (giddy and terrifying at the same time). But through it all, I wrote. Along the way I wrote the world’s worst novel, a slightly more well-crafted but equally as poorly plotted novel, several non-fiction feature articles (my first sales!), multiple humor columns for a national magazine (more sales!), and, finally, the novel that sold, Wanna Get Lucky?, the first in a series to be published by Forge Books. The series is a Sex and the City meets Elmore Leonard in Vegas kind of thing, if you can imagine that. Okay, have several glasses of wine, then think about it…makes imagining easier. Anyway, the books are sexy, wry, romantic, and slightly naughty mixed with a little murder and mayhem—shaken, not stirred—then illuminated by the bright lights of Las Vegas—one of the truly magical cities in the world.

Many of my friends have asked me how in the world I came up with the Lucky series. The way they asked led me to believe they thought mind-altering substances might have been involved even though they knew the worst I do is a glass of fine Pinot-Noir. The answer to their question is actually very simple: let your fifteen-year-old male child pick where you live, follow his dream to Vegas, then keep your eyes open.

Hey, it worked for me!

My Review

 Always a delight to escape to the Las Vegas strip with Deb Coonts' Lucky. I've read the series since it launched and I enjoy each new edition immensely.  We just spent Christmas in Las Vegas at the Trump Hotel and I imagined that was where Lucky's apartment was. I love the insider view of Las Vegas that Deb Coonts provides in the Lucky series.

Set in the fictional Babylon hotel on the Las Vegas, this time in the midst of a poker tournament this is a great read, good mystery and fun escape! Already looking forward to the next one.

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