The Butcher of Beverly Hills
Jennifer Colt
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Buy *The Butcher of Beverly Hills* by Jennifer Colt

The Butcher of Beverly Hills
Jennifer Colt
368 pages
July 2005
rated 4 1/2 of 5 possible stars

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In the first book of what promises to be a zany new trilogy, Jennifer Colt introduces readers to Kerry and Terry McAfee, red-headed identical twins with completely opposing personalities. Kerry is nice and law-abiding while Terry, an ex-addict with a record, a mean mouth, and a temper, is the more brash of the two. Kerry is also a private investigator who takes on the un-hirable Terry as her sidekick. Before long, the girls have their first case. At the request (read command) of their great-aunt Reba, they are assigned the task of recovering the ten thousand dollars that the gold-digging young husband of Reba’s best friend, Lenore Richling, has absconded with - together with his new lover, a beautiful Russian immigrant.

While Lenore nurses her broken heart with a new bout of plastic surgery and recovers in the secluded Dauphine hotel with other rich old ladies, the twins ride around L.A. on their hot-pink Harley, rounding up suspects who range from a hack of a popular plastic surgeon to a snooty lawyer to a nosy insurance agent to Barbie, the beauty consultant with buns of steel, and many more characters, some of who may or may not be involved with blackmail. Gaining two adorable toy dogs in the process, they ultimately catch up with Lenore’s boy-toy of a husband, but minutes later he is killed. Still palpitating from their narrow escape, the twins go to return Lenore’s money - only she, too, is mysteriously dead.

As more rich old ladies from Beverly Hills start dropping dead, the twins piece together the countless clues and realize the magnitude of conspiracy they have uncovered. They come up with an absolutely beaut of a wacky theory that answers all the questions and provides the solution to their case, only no one believes them because it is too crazy for words. Can they catch the bad guys before they too end up dead like their client?

Screenwriter Jennifer Colt impales readers upon her rapier-sharp wit and then proceeds to make them laugh till they cry with the utterly ridiculous but totally entertaining escapades of the McAfee twins in this screwball of a chick-lit mystery. Just thinking of the red-headed twins zooming around L.A. on a fuschia Harley with their toy dogs, doing investigative work, is hilarious enough. Add to this a strong supporting cast of arrestingly loopy characters such as a plastic surgeon who never closes his eyes, an Irish she-devil of a housekeeper, an actor-turned-timid bodyguard who looks like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s blond twin, and needless to say, readers are in splits throughout. Although the novel is full of laughter, the mystery is surprisingly good and keeps the audience guessing until the peril-filled end. A romantic angle emerges for both the twins, but there is suspense there as well. In short, this fast-paced novel is a fun read with ample doses of humor, sizzle and elan.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Rashmi Srinivas, 2006

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