|Flashpoint (1999) [Novel]|
by Linda Barnes
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Series: Carlotta Carlyle
Carlotta Carlyle's clients might as well be on the Endangered Species list: there aren't many of them, and they don't hang around long. The latest is elderly Valentine Phipps, a feisty, dotty Fenway tenant organizer whom Carlotta's volleyball teammate Gwen Taymore drags her off to because Val is worried about break-ins. This new client, a solitary holdout against her landlord's plan to use her building's site for the Millennium Towers complex, is comically demanding, insisting that Carlotta run right out and purchase the new locks she needs and grabbing a photo of Carlotta's ``little sister'' Paolina as collateral for the lock money she's given her. But she turns into much bigger trouble the next morning, when Carlotta returns to find her dead, victim of an apparent heart attack, having just taken her phone off the hook when she was stricken. The cops, smelling a rat when volleyball teammate Gwen's background doesn't square with her foreground, clap her into jail and assign her a public defender whose idea of defense is a quick plea bargain; megabucks music exec Bronson Hohen, who's appeared out of nowhere to claim that he was Val's stepgrandson and to hire Carlotta to root around in the old lady's papers, won't return her calls; then a firebug strikes at Carlotta's house, and suddenly her addled, dead client becomes the most important person in her world and maybe in Boston.
Original title: Flashpoint
Genre: Fiction→ Crime and Mystery→ Detective Story and Detectives→ General