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By Jeffrey Cohen

Berkley Prime Crime, 2009 ($7.99)
ISBN-10: 0425228150
ISBN-13: 978-0-425-22815-9

Reviewed by Shirley Wetzel

Elliot Freed is a man I’d like to know. He’s sensitive, in a manly way, he cares about the people who work for him and the loyal patrons who show up night after night to watch both classic and new comedies at his rejuvenated theater, Comedy Tonight, he’s funny, and he still carries a torch for his ex-wife that shines brightly even though she done him wrong. Even though he and Sharon are divorced, and Sharon has remarried, he still gives her presents for their wedding anniversary. Hope really springs eternal in this guy. The fact that Sharon accepts his gifts and still goes by the name of Sharon Simon-Freed, suggests he has a reason to hope.

Alas, Elliot is also a man whose life does not run smoothly. The rejuvenation of the old building still has a long way to go, and the plumbing gives up the ghost, taking some of the electricity with it. Sophie, the best of his staff, may be yanked back home by her overbearing parents so she can concentrate on getting into one of the top-notch universities, and Jonathan, the usher/jack of some trades, who is in love with her, is horrified that she might be taken away from him.

Oh, yes, by the way, Sharon, a physician, has gone missing, and she’s a suspect in the death of one of her patients. Elliot has to team up with her obnoxious second husband, Gregory, in a frantic search to find her and clear her name. Elliot’s mom lends her support, motherly advice, and map-reading ability on a road trip from hell, while Elliot mutters to himself "I love my mother I love my mother I love my mother..."

Books in the Double Feature mystery series always have happy, or at least not disastrous, endings, and this one ends in a most satisfactory way.

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