“Panty Raid” by Diane Vallere is book eight in the Samantha Kidd Mystery Series. Quick comments within the storyline provide a new reader with any needed background information. Those who have not read the previous books can jump right in without any problem, and catch up on the others in the series later.
In the opening line, Samantha laments, “I expected the Eiffel Tower to be bigger.” Of course, she is in Las Vegas, the city of sin, not Paris, the city of lights. As a buyer for Tradava, she is attending a lingerie trade show, and things are problematical right from the start. There is a mix-up with the room and when she and finance Nick finally get to room number four, they find that it comes with a window view of a dead body. At least the room service menu has twenty-two different versions of mac and cheese.
Samantha regales readers with her tale of woe in a first person narrative, and entertain she does. She runs into a trade show model with an erroneous view of her intents. “Are you one of the new bopo models? Body Positive. You know, real woman dimensions…It’s a movement this season, using fluffier models than usual.” Samantha — Fluffy?
Of course, things go downhill for the fluffy and unfluffy models at the trade show. She struggles to make sense of everything. “Two thoughts jabbed my brain like index fingers of a five-year-old who just discovered an unattended piano.” The wardrobe changes and trademarked panties are outdone only by the treachery, misinformation, and dead models. “I’d found three possible motives for murder and I hadn’t even finished my first cup of coffee.”
This is Vegas, so there are appearances by multi-millionaire playboys, an Elvis impersonator, an on-demand wedding chapel, and a Vegas Metro police detective. “Ms. Kidd, you should know I checked you out. I found out you have a colorful past.” “I don’t think it’s my past that’s colorful. I just happen to get involved with colorful people. Murderers. Arsonists. Mafia.”
This is not a formula book with continuing characters dropped into a random plot line. Throughout the series, Samantha has grown and changed, as continuing characters should. When things around her deteriorate into chaos, she shows real critical thinking skills. “How can you honestly think I’m going to let this go?” She takes charge in a way only she can. “Is it possible we could solve this whole interest in crime by getting you a thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle?”
I received a review copy of “Panty Raid” from Diane Vallere and Polyester Press. It is a quick book to read with mystery, murder, and not too much blood and gore. “Panty Raid” is an entertaining book, but be careful; you might just laugh right out loud as you read.