by Maureen Tan

September 2004
ISBN: 0-373-51323-2
Reviewer Graphic Button Silhouette #9
Mass Market Paperback

Down in New Orleans, where the jazz is hot and the fun never ends, a serial killer is stalking the people of Little Vietnam. The inhabitants of that section of the city are closed mouth and secretive. They donít trust the white cops patrolling the streets or the detective who wants to help find the murderer.

Lacie Reed is a woman who can take care of herself. Sheís been trained to fit in anywhere. Undercover work is her business and she does it well. When her favorite uncle, Tinh, asks her to come down and look into the killings, she doesnít think twice about helping him out. Her half-Vietnamese, half-American heritage will help her fit in with the people of Little Vietnam and hopefully will be just what is needed to draw the killer out.

First though, Lacie has to convince Anthony Beauprix sheís capable of going deep undercover and taking care of herself. Anthony is the New Orleans detective trying to solve the murders. Heís been raised the old fashioned way - men should take care of the ladies. They should never leave them unprotected. So she has her work cut out for her to show him she can do this. As Lacie slides into her new identity, she feels the danger surround her. Not sure whom she can trust, she reaches out to Beauprix. At the end of the case, will Lacie not only catch the killer, but the New Orleans detective as well?

Maureen Tan has written a fascinating book. She does a great job showing us how Lacie goes about getting into her new identity and becoming that person. The thought processes she goes through and the abilities she has shows that Lacie is a woman who can indeed take care of herself. The reader gets the feel of how long it can take for an undercover agent to get any information without the feeling of the story slowing down any. The Vietnamese arenít a group we see often in stories, but Ms. Tan has done a wonderful job bringing their culture to life. The romance is very subtle in this story - even though you feel the attraction between Lacie and Beauprix, the case comes first.

A Perfect Cover by Maureen Tan is an intriguing book about a woman helping her people, finding love, and understanding what makes her the strong person she is. I look forward to Ms. Tanís next book.

Reviewed in August 2004 by Jenni.

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