Before I go any further, I have to admit that I absolutely adore the Rat Pack Mysteries: They sweep me away into the Vegas era of the 1960s, with the Rat Pack and various mobsters front and center. And Eddie G.! What a guy. Okay, I'm done now.
This installment features Ava Gardner, Frank Sinatra's ex-wife. Somehow, Ava turns up after a 40 hour drunken binge, covered in blood with somebody dead. She goes to Frank, but since he's with his children, she tries to quietly slip out of town, but since she's Ava Gardner, that doesn't go quite as planned. Of course our Eddie G is called in to find out what's going on, so he tracks her down in LA, only to find himself in danger now as well. Enter our friend Jerry Epstein, always ready to protect and eat, and soon the trio is traveling around looking for places to hide Ava from whomever is following her while Eddie tries to find out what took place in those missing hours.
This is standard fare for our hero, Eddie, and his pals, and throw in appearances from Frank, Dino, and Sammy, and you've got the perfect mix for a mystery. Randisi name-drops with the best of them, and it's easy to envision strolling through a Beverly Hills Hotel and encountering all the performers of the 60s. The mystery itself develops nicely and involves all our favorites with a couple of interesting surprises thrown in. Definitely another winning entry in this series that has me fully engaged.