Thursday, November 1, 2012

Highball Exit - A Sherri Travis Mystery

Reading a Sherri Travis novel, by Phyllis Smallman, is like sitting down at a bar for a drink with an old friend and knowing the beer is going to be cold, the peanuts fresh, and the stories spicy!

Sherri can stir up trouble with the skill of any good bartender and Highball Exit is no exception. Only this time, trouble almost gets the best of her. Sherri's pizzazz for fun and adventure fizzles when faced with insurmountable personal danger, financial ruin, and a tottering romance.

Holly Mitchell, a past employee at Sherri's Sunset Bar, is dead. Suicide, according to the police. But, Sherri has other things to worry about, like how she's going to settle three months of past due payments on her bar.  She's hit an all time low and when elderly, ill, Auntie Kay shows up asking for help to find Holly's baby girl, Angel, and waves the green flag of 'money', Sherri can't resist. Aunt Kay convinces her that all she has to do is drive her around so she can ask questions. Things take a nasty turn when Aunt Kay and Sherri encounter the creepy duo of brothers, Cal and Ryan Vachess.  Cal is the perverted owner of Angel Escort Service, his brother, Ryan, a perma-fried speed freak  It gets worse when Ryan develops an appetite for sexy bartenders.

So, why is Cal Vachess stalking Sherri?  And, what does the cop, Danny, know about Holly that he isn't telling? Is a famous singer involved in Holly's death? More importantly, where is the missing baby that only Aunt Kay declares is real?

This book is a little darker, and more intense than others in this series. Scenes of Sherri, alone in the dark in a remote beach house, are not for late night reading unless you like looking over your shoulder.  Highball Exit has a twisting, satisfying plot with an ending that finds Sherri naked on the beach. . . her tormenter closing ground. . . I'm not going to tell you the shocking finale but I think you'll find justice clearly served.

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