Written by Deborah Coonts
Published by Tor-Forge
Review by Meredith Allard
I live in Las Vegas. Yes, it’s true, people really live here. Admittedly, I don’t live on the Strip where all the excitement happens. I live in a regular neighborhood where regular people live alongside schools, churches, grocery stores, and strip malls. If you like the exciting Las Vegas, the Vegas of neon lights, ultra lounges, and designer shopping, then Deborah Coonts’ debut novel Wanna Get Lucky? is for you. It’s about the Vegas everyone wants to visit—gambling until you hit the jackpot, drinking until you’re naked in the hotel hall, and peeking at the porn convention with its big, busty naturals (or not-so-naturals). There’s also a murder, and that’s where the story begins.
Lucky O’Toole is the head of Customer Relations at the Babylon, a mega resort on the Las Vegas Strip. She’s the hotel’s troubleshooter, and if there’s a problem at the Babylon, Lucky is the go-to person. On a typical crazy night at the hotel, a woman falls to her death from a helicopter. Turns out the woman has connections to the Babylon’s Big Boss, and someone is trying to frame him for the murder. If Lucky can discover who pushed the woman from the helicopter, she can learn who’s been trying to blackmail the Big Boss. Threaded through the murder mystery is a love triangle, with a hot Texas security guard, who may be playing for the other side, and the most unlikely romantic interest, Teddie, a heterosexual female impersonator (that’s right, he dresses up as a woman to entertain crowds at the Babylon).
I admit this is not the kind of book I normally read. The only murder mysteries I’ve ever read are Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse series, and I live in Las Vegas so I’m not usually drawn to books about it. Having said that, I lovedWanna Get Lucky? I loved the sense of humor. I loved the wild extravagance of the Strip lifestyle, with the fast cars, designer clothes, and penthouse apartments. I loved the crazy problems Lucky faces in the course of a day (such as that naked drunk in the hotel hall). Most of all, I loved Lucky herself. Smart, observant, with a whip-like sense of humor, she’s determined to find those responsible for blackmailing the Big Boss, and find them she does. And like many modern women, she’s in control at work, not so much in the rest of her life. This book is a fun romp through Vegas that’s part murder mystery, part romance, and part Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. If you’re looking for a book that’s great for reading on the beach or lounging by the pool, something that’s pure entertainment, you’ll love Wanna Get Lucky?
Meredith Allard is the Executive Editor of The Copperfield Review.