Let me say that I've been an Ellen Hart fan, specifically of the Jane Lawless series, for years. It's hard to find smart female, much less lesbian protagonists in mystery novels! I loved all of her previous books up until a few years ago when the author seemed consumed with keeping the characters' way of speaking up-to-date with the times, and less focused on the interactions between the two main characters, Jane and Cordelia, or allowing Jane to have a decent relationship with another woman.
This book is no exception; the characters, including Jane, are unlikeable; there is little positive interaction or humor (as was typical in her early books). It was hard to care about any of the characters, and the plot was so unnecessarily complicated! There was no meaningful connection between characters or plot! The end was truly unsatisfying, though, yes, surprising. But, is that the point of a good book? I don't know.
I do know that this book did not satisfy my wish to identify or connect with the characters, to see a strong, positive role model of a successful woman/lesbian in the world, who can have both job and relationship (I have this, but it'd be nice to read about it, too!). And, it was lackluster, despite being overly complicated. Talking about strippers and whether they're PC or not is just odd.
Last but not least, Jane finds the address book of a young character in the book. This is so improbable, that it actually gets in the way of the story! You ask yourself, "Why does he have an address book?" rather than a cell phone like any youngish person under 60! So, it actually pulls you out of the story because it's so anachronistic. It almost makes the novel Science Fiction. ;)
So, my wish? Why won't Ellen Hart write as someone her own age, trust that readers will find the story interesting, let there be interaction between Jane and Cordelia, and let Jane have a decent lesbian relationship! If not, retire this series and begin again! You, Ellen Hart, can do better!