deborah coonts

Review of ‘Lucky Break’

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It’s Christmas in Las Vegas, and everyone is happy. Lucky O’Toole is engaged to be married to Jean-Luc, the head chef in her new hotel, which is slated for opening. Life couldn’t be better. But, if there’s one thing Lucky can depend on, it’s that when things are looking good, trouble is lurking just around the corner.

Her ex-boyfriend, Teddy, is back, and he has problems, which only get worse when he’s found in Jean-Luc’s kitchen with a bloody knife in his hand, and the body of one of his competitors on the floor. Is he guilty? Lucky doesn’t think so, but she has to prove it. As if that’s not problem enough, she learns that her old nemesis is out of jail and looking for revenge.

Lucky Break by Deborah Coonts is another high-octane adventure featuring the unlikely heroine, Lucky O’Toole, with Sin City as the backdrop. The author keeps everyone, Lucky included, guessing for the first half of the book, and ducking for cover for the rest. One of the best books in this series, and one that you should definitely not miss.

I received this book as a gift. I give it five stars.

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Review of ‘Lucky Catch’

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Lucky O’Toole is the VP of Customer Relations for Babylon, the most over-the-top casino and resort in Vegas, so she’s accustomed to handing problems. Besides, her mother, Mona, formerly the proprietor of a bordello, is now married to Lucky’s boss and father, and is pregnant, which presents its own unique set of problems for her.

With a bunch of chefs with huge egos in town for a competition, and an expensive truffle to be safeguarded, she doesn’t need any more complications. Hah! She should be so lucky.

Her ex, Teddy, shows up wanting a favor, and her current, Jean-Charles Bouclet, is playing games with her. Are you thinking that Lucky’s plate is full? Wrong. A young chef ends up murdered and in one of Jean-Charles’ food trucks, and he’s suddenly incommunicado, and a thousand live turkeys that Mona ordered for Thanksgiving have been delivered and everyone’s looking to Lucky for answers.

Lucky Catch by Deborah Coonts once more takes us into the roiling underbelly of Las Vegas, as Lucky tries to find a killer, retrieve a missing truffle, and keep from strangling her mom. This is Lucky O’Toole at her best; witty, irreverent, and up to her eyeballs in trouble. Coonts knows Vegas, and she has her characters nailed. As usual, you’ll spend as much time laughing as you do cringing. Don’t miss this one.

I received this book as a gift. I give it five stars.

Review of ‘Lucky Bastard’

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As the newly promoted vice president of customer relations for her father’s casino, Babylon, Lucky O’Toole hasn’t encountered a problem she couldn’t solve. Then, the body of a young woman is found in the casino’s on-site auto dealership with a stiletto heel embedded in her throat. Paxton Dane, a PI and so-so friend, is suspect number one, especially when he announces that the dead woman is his wife.

Lucky Bastard by Deborah Coonts is another tour de force featuring our six-foot tall, fashion and relationship-challenged heroine as she tries to track down the killer—afraid that Dane is her man. When two more corpses turn up, one, an apparent heart attack on one of Babylon’s private planes and the other a cyanide poisoning of one of the casino managers in the car park, the hunts up, and Lucky becomes one of the killer’s targets.

Coonts knows Las Vegas, and she apparently knows the characters who dwell therein, because she writes about them with a ring of authority and authenticity. Like a carnival barker, she knows how to get you to ‘step right up’ to see the action, and she doesn’t let you go until she’s wrung the last bit of curiosity out of you.

I received this book as a gift. Oh, and I give it five stars.

Review of ‘So Damn Lucky’

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For Lucky O’Toole, head of customer relations for Babylon, a mega-casino in Las Vegas, things could be going better. A magician she’s booked for an act in the casino apparently dies during his act, and the body disappears. Her boyfriend, Teddie, is on tour with a rock star, and becoming increasingly distant. She’s having issues with the Big Boss, owner of the Babylon, who also happens to be her dad. And, all of this is before lunch.

In Deborah Coonts’ So Damn Lucky, the sometimes hapless, always overworked, Lucky O’Toole is hell bent on finding the missing magician, settling her increasingly distant relationship with the peripatetic Teddie, and resolving her daddy issues. Of course, the latter is complicated by her mother, Mona, who has moved in with the Big Boss and is now expecting his child. The Big Boss, on the other hand, is pressing Lucky for advice on how to propose to Mona so he can finally make an honest woman out of her—something that Lucky knows is impossible.

If you think these challenges are enough for one mortal to bear, you don’t know Lucky . . . or Vegas. She also has two men sniffing around her, and is tempted to sniff back. Paxton Dane, the hunky Texan who works for the gaming commission and the new French chef are both making moves, and to complicate matters, Teddie returns to Vegas. While balancing all this, Lucky has to deal with UFO nuts, a couple experimenting to add excitement to their lives, and a group of magicians trying to solve a decades-old murder connected with the secretive Area 51, located in the desert near Las Vegas.

If you’ve never read a Lucky O’Toole novel before, I can promise you that you’ll be hooked after reading this one, which is the third in the series, and you’ll be scrambling to get the first two to get to know our hero (one would never use the feminine version of a title to describe Lucky) a bit better. Coonts has a magical way with dialogue and description (yeah, the pun was intended) as she describes the denizens and dives of the glitter capital of the world.

I received this book as a gift.  I give it five stars!

Review of ‘Lucky Stiff’

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For Lucky O’Toole, head of customer relations for the extravagant Babylon Casino and Spa in Las Vegas, it started out as a routine night; routine that is until a semi overturned on the strip and unleashed thousands of angry bees on the unsuspecting revelers. For Lucky, the night then went from bad to worse. The partially eaten body of Numbers Neidermeyer, a Vegas odds maker, is found in the Babylon’s shark tank, her mother, Mona, proprietor of a bordello in a small town near Vegas has decided to auction off a young woman’s virginity, and Teddie, Lucky’s love interest, has been offered a record deal in Los Angeles, taking him away just when their relationship was reaching a hot point—hot in a good way.

Just in case you think things couldn’t get any worse than that, the hotshot DA has decided that Lucky’s friend, an Aussie PI who is her chief assistant’s love interest, is the prime suspect in the case of the unfortunate demise of Numbers.

Lucky has her hands full as she tries to prove her friend’s innocence, keep her mother from making a terrible mistake, and keep herself from becoming the next victim.

Lucky Stiff by Deborah Coonts shows a side of Las Vegas that tourists rub up against but never see. Lucky O’Toole is not your run-of-the-mill mystery heroine. She’s a woman with flaws, most of which she readily admits to, but she never lets them keep her from getting the job done. This book will make you laugh and cry—all at the same time.

I received Lucky Stiff as a gift.  I give Coonts five stars for this one.

Review of ‘Wanna Get Lucky?’

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When a young woman plunges to her death from a tour helicopter and lands in the middle of a casino’s outdoor show, everyone writes h er off as just another ‘Vegas’ casualty. Not so Lucky O’Toole, customer relations manager for the Babylon Casino—she suspects foul play. Despite having a killer schedule, Lucky sets out to find out what actually happened. Central to her investigation is Paxton Dane, a newly hired member of Babylon’s security office, but he seems to be holding something back, and is always showing up at the strangest times and places. As if the investigation and her work aren’t enough, she has to deal with her enigmatic boss, a mother who runs a brothel, and a neighbor, a female impersonator, who wants their friendship taken to another, more intimate level.

Wanna Get Lucky? By Deborah Coonts is a suspenseful, but rollicking, romp through the hedonistic playground that is Las Vegas, and lays to rest the old chestnut, ‘What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. The author paints a vivid picture of the people and the place, weaving humor into deadly events with masterful skill. After reading this, you’ll never think of Vegas in the same way again.

I give this first book in the series four stars. I’m sure it can only get better.