Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Cut, Paste, Kill by Marshall Karp

First Line: She scraped the salmon croquettes from her dinner plate into the cats' bowl.

When a diplomat's wife who's responsible for the death of a little boy turns up dead on the bathroom floor of a Hollywood hotel, it's not just murder, it's art. Along with the scissors sticking out of the dead woman's body, detectives Mike Lomax and Terry Biggs find a beautifully done scrapbook which contains a motive for vengeance.

Then more bodies turn up, each with his or her own scrapbook. It's clear that Mike and Terry are hunting a vigilante stalking unpunished criminals. They have to decode these scrapbooks fast-- before someone else gets cut, pasted, and killed.

When it comes to the too-brief Lomax and Biggs mystery series, you can always count on dialogue that snap-crackle-pops, and plenty of wit to make you laugh out loud. Team that with a smooth fast pace and a firecracker of a mystery, and you've got a book that won't let you go until you turn the last page. 

This is Mike and Terry's show, but that doesn't keep other characters from hogging the limelight. Mike's dad, Big Jim Lomax, is a law unto himself, and if you've got any sense, you won't eat one of Big Jim's Famous Cajun Cows on a Bun. Let his son Mike tell you why: "The last time I ate one of your burgers it burned the hair right off my chest. From the inside. Hold the Cajun on ours." See what I mean? I think I'll pass. I like spicy, not incendiary.

In this fourth book, Mike learns a side to his personality that he never knew he had, and it's all due to a little girl named Sophie. If Sophie can't charm you, no one can. Trust me. I'm not necessarily child friendly, but Sophie turned me into a believer.

I do need to temper my Lomax and Biggs Admiration Society tribute just a bit though. I did find that the final mile to the killer stretched the rubber band of my credulity until I got snapped on the end of my nose. What did I do when that happened and I was faced with a few too many plot twists? I dove right back in. If you're in the mood for funny, fast, and mysterious, you can't go wrong with Lomax and Biggs. You're in the mood? Good! Do you have to start at the beginning with The Rabbit Factory? Technically, no. But if you love to laugh as much as I do, why deny yourself? 

Cut, Paste, Kill by Marshall Karp
ISBN: 9780312378226
Minotaur Books © 2010
Hardcover, 304 pages

Police Procedural/Humorous Mystery
#4 Lomax and Biggs mystery
Rating: B+
Source: Purchased from Book Outlet



  1. I like Karp's work a lot, Cathy. He combines wit and grit really effectively, I think. And he is, in person, a very gracious, pleasant guy; that counts a lot in my book.

    1. It can in my book, too. I haven't had the good fortune to meet him in person, but he's been so funny and gracious in his emails with me.


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