Banking On Trouble (Annie Fillmore #1)

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Banking on Trouble is the first novel in an eccentric and witty mystery series featuring Annie Fillmore (part Miss Marple, part Bugs Bunny) solving mysteries in Cincinnati, Ohio. Annie is a wise-cracking, 50-year-old divorcee living a fairly normal life and working as a mortgage loan officer until she improbably finds herself entangled in yet another murder investigation. Her unconventional past (including being raised by two metaphysically-minded aunts and harassed by her chronically crabby ex) includes her solving three previous murders while the owner of a video store. When the bank president turns up dead in the office of a colleague, Annie can't take a back seat while her associate and good friend is suspected of murder. She can't in any case because nobody will let her-not the suspect, not her best friend, Marilyn Monroe (nee Klotzman), and not the deceased's merry widow. Her reputation as a sleuth has fated her to sleuth once more. Despite her wholehearted agreement with the unamusable detective in charge of the investigation that she should not-will not-get involved in the investigation, Annie (somewhat) helplessly gets sucked into the fray. Nobody who has known the expired executive seems surprised that somebody would do him in; but how did the corpse find itself in a locked glass office cube under a jumble of black balloons? And where is the janitor who was on duty the night of the murder? Annie is doing her best to keep her mind on getting loans, the occasional annoying customer, and the consistently annoying corporate management, but to no avail. Being followed by loan sharks, a sleazy VP, and worse doesn't deter her from finding the truth, even if it means flatly ignoring the detective's admonition that she may end up dead. Annie's methods of detecting aren't exactly Sherlock-ian science-more hunches and dumb luck. As she eliminates the suspects that the police are running down, she decides nobody could have done it. And yet somebody did.

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