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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Review: How to Lose a Client (Kate William Mystery) by Becky A. Bartness


where I got my copy: Becky A. Bartness c/o of Bostick Communications
where to buy:  Amazon, BN, Better World Books

Kate Williams, Esq., has just started her own criminal defense law firm in Phoenix, Arizona, when Katherine Paar aka Tangerine, a new client, walks in and proposes a lucrative deal to bring Kate on as her attorney. Things get complicated and events unfold quickly when the body of Tangerine's ex-lawyer is discovered and Tangerine disappears. Kate, aided by MJ, her tattooed, pierced, and fashion-challenged paralegal and Sam, her sometimes cross-dressing investigator, along with a cast of characters straight out of a John Waters movie, try to unravel the bizarre mystery and save Tangerine's life. The action is fast and fantastically funny, and Ms. Bartness proves once again that you can laugh at death.


Kate Williams is a lawyer, she used to practice in Chicago but decided to move to Arizona after two cases. She was in the transition of getting settled into her office. She already have trusted people on her team. Beth her receptionist, M.J her tattooed, seasonal haired paralegal and her cross dressing investigator, nick named as Sam. She had an unfortunate luck of hiring a shady constructor. Who seems to work only when he feels like it. Her quirky team coerced her to have a day off, and she took this as a chance to reinvent herself. She then went to Stranded only to find out that her colorist Michele was with another client. Michele then referred her to Christopher, a flamboyant gay hair stylist that gave her a Lucille Ball look. He gave her a color red confusing her choice of auburn while having a chat with Michele's client, Tuwanda who works for Tangerine, the number one pimp in the city. After the horrendous hair color incident she has to go home and wait until the next day for corrective hair color stripper and redying. An appointment was waiting for her the following day, her new client is Katherine Paar, none other than Tangerine herself. She hired Kate as her new legal representative since her lawyer decided to retire. She then gave Kate the necessary documents and then some that she needs to protect. From that moment on Kate was kidnapped, beaten up, almost died of a house fire, walked into her trashed apartment and office, cross dressers criticized her hair color and clothing choices, and been driving around in a pink mobile with a homeless guy and a professional ho dodging criminals and looking for Tangerine.

Kate's adventure was hilarious. How to Lose a Client is the third novel of Kate Williams. I wouldn't know if not for searching more Bartness books. While it is set to be as a series, this third installment feels like a stand alone, which works perfect. Plus Bartness did some recap on what cases Kate worked on before. I didn't get a hard time navigating this book. Kate is a likable character, she is not the uptight, stressed out, "I am a lawyer, get out of my way". Sometimes I forget because most of the time she was running away from the bad guys, she was incredibly patient with colorist that ruined her hair color, and she banters with criminals when she was about to get kidnapped. The sarcasm, the wit and the characters surrounding her made the whole book a laugh out loud experience. Tuwanda is my favorite. Her metaphors and surprising take on things were a never ending amusement. I love the ending too, I never had a clue on who the criminal was. it was a brilliant ending.

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