Novelist Ingrid Thoft has created a popular and off-beat character in Fina Ludlow, a private investigator at the center of Thoft's mystery series, including the just released Identity. Ludlow frequently gets beat up (both her clients and competitors are prone to take a swing at her). She has a seriously screwed up family (her hotshot lawyer father/boss expects her absolute loyalty in all things, including supporting her pedophile brother). And her love life is in, um, transition (she's being replaced in both of her friends-with-benefits relationships).
And she's reluctant to take on her her latest assignment, to uncover the identity of an anonymous sperm donor who fathered several children, now in their teens. It's a scandal waiting to happen, she thinks. Never mind that the donors were promised confidentiality and that the cryrobank doesn't want to open its records, the teens themselves aren't really interested in finding the donor. But one mom is on crusade to give all cryobank clients, both donors and offspring, full access to all records about their relations whether they want it or not.
At her father's insistence, Ludlow does some unenthusiastic digging around and uncovers the man's identity. A few hours later the man is dead. Oops! Did Ludlow's investigation lead to the murder? Is the killer one of the teens the man fathered? Or one of the moms? Ludlow can't just walk away now that she might have set all this in motion.
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Thoft reads from and signs copies of Identity at 6:30 p.m. Murder by the Book, 2342 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-524-8597 or visit murderbooks.com. Free.
Fri., June 27, 6:30 p.m., 2014