Cut, Paste, Kill Review
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Scrapbooking is more than just a hobby; it’s a cultural phenomenon. For some, it’s even an obsession. But in Marshall Karp’s latest Lomax and Biggs mystery, Cut, Paste, Kill, that obsession turns deadly for one fervent killer.

LAPD homicide detectives Mike Lomax and Terry Biggs are enjoying a leisurely afternoon barbeque when they’re called to the posh Afton Gardens Hotel, where socialite Eleanor Bellingham-Crump—the wife of a British diplomat—was found stabbed to death with a pair of scissors in the ladies’ room. They don’t have to work too hard to find a motive for the murder—because the killer left a scrapbook next to the body, detailing the crime that led to Mrs. Bellingham-Crump’s death sentence. Less than a year ago, she killed a 10-year-old boy while driving drunk, but she was protected by diplomatic immunity, and she was never really punished for it—until now.

As Lomax and Biggs investigate the crime, they find that Mrs. Bellingham-Crump wasn’t the first victim, so they team up with FBI agent Simone Trotter to track down their scrapbooking serial killer.

Now, I’ve heard that scrapbooking weekends can get pretty wild and crazy—but author Marshall Karp takes cropping to a whole new sinister level in Cut, Paste, Kill. It’s an imaginative mystery, built on an unexpected (but oh, so clever) concept that will amuse both scrappers and non-scrappers alike. The story, too, is almost as meticulous (and every bit as unexpected) as the crime scene scrapbooks. Sleuth along with Lomax and Biggs all you want—but just when you’ll think that you’ve got it all figured out, Karp throws a curveball that comes flying out of nowhere. And, from there, the story speeds ahead until it all comes together in a perfectly bizarre—and totally Hollywood—ending.

Of course, murder may be serious business—but Marshall Karp’s novels aren’t. You’ll rarely find murder and mayhem that’s quite this funny, thanks to Karp’s delightfully twisted sense of humor. His wise-cracking cops fill the pages with groan-worthy gags that will lighten up even the darkest, most gruesome of crime scenes. And they get plenty of help from the supporting characters, too—like Mike’s Teamster dad, Big Jim, who decides to take up screenwriting (with some help from Biggs) in an entertaining side plot.

Even if you haven’t read any of Karp’s earlier Lomax and Biggs mysteries, you’ll have no problem keeping up with Cut, Paste, Kill. So if the usual dark and moody whodunits have left you feeling a little grim, pick up a copy of this mirthful murder mystery. You’ll be laughing out loud faster than you can say “acid-free page protector.”

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