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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
Lethal Relations by Lo Monaco is a murder mystery told from the first person point of view and by the main character, a private investigator named Theresa (Terry) Strong. The murder itself is unique in that all of the characters have close degrees of separation. The deceased, Fred Greene, has allegedly been shot and killed by his lover Barbara (Barbie) Metcalf. Her lawyer, Donald (Don) Remick - who is brother to Metcalf and related to Greene through his wife, Evelyn - has hired Strong to help him exonerate his sister. To complicate matters further, Fred Greene's son is in a relationship with Don Remick's daughter. It's left to Terry, who has her own relationship issues to sort through, to try to untwist a case that appears to be a clean shot...until the karate-ace and private investigator finds a new twist that, if she's not careful, could tangle her up in it as well.
Lethal Relations is a highly entertaining mystery with the added benefit of a female lead who is both strong and smart, but who also has just enough of her own issues to further fatten an already nice, thick plot with an absorbing subplot. Lo Monaco writes with wit and authenticity, giving Terry a voice that instantly engages. I loved the convoluted web of relationships and, as Monaco deftly unpeeled each layer, I was certain I had the mystery sorted out myself. Imagine my surprise and delight when a spanner is thrown in to create an energetic twist, something that even a prolific reader and lover of whodunits isn't expecting at all. This was an easy five stars from me and I look forward to having more adventures with Terry Strong going forward.