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Flipping Out

Flipping Out: A Lomax and Biggs Mystery

by Marshall Karp

Flipping houses takes on a whole new meaning in this, the third Lomax and Biggs mystery from Marshall Karp (Cut, Paste, Kill; The Rabbit Factory).   Karp is a playwright and screen writer who makes good use of his background.   The Flipping Out plot centers on several poker-playing Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) detectives, their spouses and a mystery writer with more nerve than a bad tooth.   This is a wild and crazy tale comprised of standup comedy lines and relationship banter set inside the Home and Garden TV premise that a profit can be made from fixing up houses and selling them quickly.   Real world flipping activities have been seriously curtailed by the current economic slump but this is not – fortunately for the reader – the real world.

The spin on the basic concept employed by the mystery writer, who happens to be the mother-in-law of one of the detectives, gets around the real estate slump by adding an only in LA feature.   The house being flipped is the setting of a murder – in one of her novels!   The open house staging is complete with an outline of the body, crime scene tape and a story-board in each room describing the action in the book.

Although the body count adds up quickly, there’s nothing at all scary about Flipping Out; rather, Karp indulges himself by reeling in his reader through many layers of plot and a teaser crime solution part way through the story.

Who knew that LA Homicide duty could be so funny?   A unique and enjoyable read!

Recommended.

Review by Ruta Arellano.   A review copy was provided by Minotaur Books.

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