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Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite
Workman's Complication: The First Kate McCall Crime Caper, by Rich Leder, is full of mystery, drama, entertainment, funny-bone humor, and unforgettable characters, especially Kate. Some leading ladies are predictable, ho-hum, or unconvincing, but Kate is a multi-talented woman. One moment she's minding her own business as a singer-dancer bound for Broadway (currently playing a reluctant Cajun vampire moonlighting as a subway ticket agent), and the next her break-the-rules-when-justified father is murdered and she is bequeathed his private investigation business. Determined to find her father's killer, Kate jumps in with both feet, while her Broadway dream takes a momentary U-turn. A major twist occurs when Kate becomes the prime suspect.
Leder has crafted a character and mystery novel that leaps off the screen, begging to be a movie. It has edgy, quirky humor, conflict, drama, and heart: all the things that make a well-told story fun. Even the chapter titles are entertaining and intriguing, inviting you to keep scrolling through the pages. This slam-dunk of a mystery has an inside-joke feel when it comes to Kate's character as Leder gives you tidbits on the acting process, her role, ambitions, and motivations. The first-person POV gives an immediacy to the narrative, bonding you with Kate right away. This isn't heavy drama or typical Agatha Christie territory. It's Leder-land, where a laugh comes in almost every paragraph, but you still get to solve the mystery along with Kate. Dynamic dialogue drives the story along, and the author's descriptions are vividly detailed. Kate's actor friends round out this cast of unpredictable characters, and there are well-placed moments of poignancy. If you like spoofs and parodies like Airplane, Naked Gun, or Reno 911, you will become an instant fan of Richard Leder and his Workman's Complication: The First Kate McCall Crime Caper.