Tucker Sinclair is a Los Angeles management consultant. Her recently finished task for difficult client Dr. Milton Polk should be the final proof that she’s earned a spot as partner in the prestigious firm.
When Tucker meets with her boss, she expects to hear good news. Instead she learns she’s being accused of altering the figures in Polk’s business plan. Angry investors want their $11 million back. Tucker wants to know who altered the plan and shifted blame. Her dreams of partnership evaporate when she’s placed on administrative leave.
Pending inevitable federal investigation, Tucker goes hunting for Dr. Polk. That’s where the story gets tricky. Searching for answers, Tucker stumbles onto danger and a collapsing house of financial cards in False Profits.
Patricia Smiley’s debut mystery is great fun. Tucker’s determination eclipses her common sense, leading to several unlikely but very amusing scenes. Side plots involving a bitter, money-grubbing aunt and a friendly ex-husband add depth to Tucker’s character while complicating her life.
The world of financial consulting can be dry (trust me on this), but Smiley uses the good, bad and ugly of the field to set the stage for deception. Tucker has all the spunk of Kinsey Millhone or Stephanie Plum, instead with a corporate job and love for a Boxster. False Profits doesn’t differ much from other light mysteries, but it’s still very enjoyable. The book’s ending leaves room for a sequel or series. Readers should hope for both.