This is the 12th book in the series, in case you're counting letters of the alphabet on your fingers. After being a little disappointed by the ending of the K is for Killer, I went straight into the next book. I knew from the start, it wasn't going to be a good time for Kinsey, but at least this time, that fact is telegraphed in the opening comments before the story begins.
For the second time in four novels, Kinsey is involved in a wedding party. (You can't say always a bridesmaid, never a bride, because she'll bring up her two past marriages.) And as with the last time, she gets caught up in events that take her away despite the upcoming event. The last time, it was against her will and she wasn't free to go.l This time, she's following a duffel bag of stolen goods and she can't let her only lead vanish.
And as Kinsey points out at the start, for everything she's going through, she's not even getting paid.
The story begins with landlord Henry Pitts asking Kinsey to help out the family of a deceased neighbor down the street. The family has been trying to get death benefits paid for the grandfather, who had served in World War II. The only problem is that the military keeps saying that they've never heard of him. She volunteers to help look for information in his records that might provide some missing key information that would identify to prove to military service, so they can claim the few hundred dollars they believe he's entitled to.
While searching through old military books, she meets Ray Rawson, an old acquaintance of the deceased Johnny Lee from back East. Ray is looking to move to California and wants to rent the apartment. It doesn't told long to figure out that both Johnny and Ray are full of secrets, the first of which being that Johnny was never in the military -- that's just the story that was told to cover up his two-year absence.
After the apartment is later ransacked, Kinsey follows the thief all the way to the airport, where he gives a duffel bag to a woman who is boarding a plane for Florida. Kinsey buys a ticket and follows, with only what personal items she has in her bag, and a credit card that's nearly maxed out after the airfare. A wrench gets puts in the plans when the woman gets off the plane in Texas.
The mysteries unfold as we find out where Johnny had been, how Ray knows him and the connection to Gilbert Hays, who is both ruthless and persistent.
A satisfying read, and while the ending wasn't given away in the intro, you know it's not going to be the best outcome for Kinsey. On the other hand, it's probably the only one that would make sense, as it extricates her from some events of dubious legality.
As for the continuing elements: obviously there's the wedding between Rosy and Henry's brother, and his whole family is present for it. Also, there's some movement on Kinsey's newfound relatives.
This was an ebook loan from the libary.