Book Review: Sex in a Sidecar by Phyllis Smallman

Sex in a Sidecar
Phyllis Smallman
McArthur & Company, February 2010
ISBN 9781552787731
Trade Paperback

Hurricane Myrna is heading up the west coast of Florida, heading right for Jacaranda and the Sunset Bar.  Sherri Travis has been Sex in a Sidecar 2here before and knows what to expect.  She’s one of those people that wait until the last possible moment to obey the evacuation order.  She’s tending bar, serving up cocktails to all the other people determined to stick it out until the bitter end.  She’s also waiting for Clay Adams to call her and/or come rescue her sorry ass.  Which he isn’t doing.

So one of the barflies dies, presumably a victim of Hurricane Myrna.  Sherri doesn’t think so, and has fairly good reasons for her doubts.  She decides, after finally getting off the island, to find out who killed Gina.  This involves getting a job tending bar at the Bath and Tennis Club, where the rich and incredibly thin hang out, screw around, and drink themselves silly.

I have some problems with SIDECAR.  Sherri presents herself to the reader and the world in general as being an “I can take care of myself” woman.  It’s irritating to see her expect Clay to read her mind, ignore all the signals she’s sending, and do the one thing she so far has not wanted him to do: rescue her.  I can get over that, I guess; we all know women like that.  It’s realistic, in character, and still annoying.  My other problem is a plotting issue.  I can’t go into great detail without giving a major spoiler, so all I CAN say is that the presentation of the villain gives me some major grief.  I don’t like how it’s handled at all.  Other than that, SIDECAR was a decent mystery.  If you liked her first book, you’ll probably be just as happy with this second one.

Reviewed by P.J. Coldren, March 2010.