Dear Money by Martha McPhee
India Palmer, living the cash-strapped existence of the writer, is visiting wealthy friends in Maine when a yellow biplane swoops down from the clear blue sky to bring a stranger into her life, one who will change everything. The stranger is Win Johns, a swaggering and intellectually bored trader of mortgage-backed securities. Charmed by India's intelligence, humor, and inquisitive nature - and aware of her near-desperate financial situation - Win poses a proposition: 'Give me eighteen months and I'll make you a world-class bond trader.' Shedding her artist's life with surprising ease, India embarks on a raucous ride to the top of the income chain, leveraging herself with crumbling real estate, never once looking back . . . Or does she?
With a light-handed irony that is by turns as measured as Claire Messud's and as biting as Tom Wolfe's, Martha McPhee tells the classic American story of people reinventing themselves, unaware of the price they must pay for their transformation.
Liar, Liar by K.J Larsen
Private Investigator Cat DeLuca and her Pants on Fire Detective Agency have a reputation for catching cheaters. It's a skill Cat mastered when married to her run-around ex, Johnnie Ricco. Armed with a camera, Cat scales balconies, dangles from hotel windows, and splashes the bare facts on 8X10 glossies. They tend to sweeten her clients' divorce settlements.
Life takes a strange turn when a reporter for the Chicago Tribune (Rita Polansky) masquerades as a client with a liar-liar husband. Rita retains Cat to follow Chance Savino, a steamy guy with a pocketful of smuggled diamonds. The detective is hot on his heels when an exploding building hurls her out of her sling-backs and into the hospital. The FBI claims Savino was killed in the fireworks but Cat isn't buying it. She escapes the hospital determined to find out.
When her client fails to show for a scheduled meeting, Cat finds her at home with a knife in her chest. She learns the reporter was researching a ball-buster story involving a gangster, gun smuggling, and a pocketful of diamonds. Cat discovers two clues in Rita's apartment; Starburst candy wrappers and Chance Savino rummaging through her drawers.
Meanwhile, no one believes Chance is alive, everyone thinks Cat's crazy, and Cat makes a murderer's 'must kill' list. A botched attempt puts ex husband, Johnnie Ricco on the short list of suspects. Can Cat solve this case before it is too late?