Friday, January 11, 2008

Lickety-Split by Kathy Hogan Trocheck

Title: Lickety-Split
Author: Kathy Hogan Trocheck
# pages: 281
Date published: 1996
Genre: mystery
Challenge(s): Hometown & Winter Reading Challenges, Book Around the States (FL)

Setting: St. Petersburg, FL

First Sentence: Truman Kicklighter speared a bit of ham floating squarely in the middle of his split pea soup and smiled.

Cover Blurb: The golden years of ex-AP reporter Kicklighter are at best gilded. For him, making ends meet is a full-time job: clipping coupons, eating at odds hours to avail himself of early-bird specials, engineering senior citizen discounts on everything he can. Not that his life is all work, however. When winter rolls around, life at Truman's home, the Fountain of Youth Residential Hotel, in St. Petersburg, takes on a festive air as a passel of old friends from up north arrive for the winter and the local dog track opens its gates for the season. Tragedy intrudes on this idyll, though, when Truman's best friend, Mel Wisnewski, just in from Pennsylvania, is found in the track's parking lot, huddled over the corpse of Rosie Figueroa, a tout whose dead-on betting tips have made her the darling of the dog track.

Mel has changed dramatically in the few months since he last wintered in Florida--Alzheimer's seems to have gotten the better of him--but Truman still can't believe that Mel could kill anybody, even if the police are convinced that he could and did. Truman and his young friend Jackleen Canaday, a waitress at the hotel with a soft spot for snowbirds, set out to prove Mel's innocence and find Rosie's real killer. In the course of their investigation, they come upon the computerized sure-thing betting system Rosie has helped to devise and run afoul of a spectacularly roguish cast of characters--from Wade Hardeson III, a banker's barthy, boozy son; to scheming no-account Butch Goolsby and his latter-day Li'l Abner son, Curtis; to Cookie Jeffcote, the last word in white-trash supervixens. Any of these villains would happily kill for a sure thing, especially when it's in the pocket of an easy mark like Truman.

Reason for Reading: It’s set in the town I moved to in May 2007.

Random Thoughts: I enjoyed reading about landmarks that I recognize. I especially enjoyed the story of public restrooms that are an exact replica of a downtown church. I’ve been in the restrooms many times, but I looked up the church on line and, sure enough, it looks just like the bathrooms!

Favorite quote: “It was coolish outside, high seventies.” (p. 109)

Rating: C+ (a good, fast read – If you enjoy cozies, you’ll probably like it)


Jill said...

Hi, Kristi: I will have to check this out since it's set in my backyard too. I just finished another "local" novel - Atomic Lobster by Tim Dorsey. This book was set in Tampa but the characters also traveled to Gulfport, Pinellas Point, Clearwater, Tarpon Springs and the "somewhere" in rural Polk County. It's fun to read books when you recognize the landmarks!

Happy Reading!

(from New Port Richey!)

Kristi said...

Thanks, Jill. I'll definitely adding this one to my wish list.