Roz Siegel, author
When Emily's elderly customer, Sophia Sarfatti, complains her shoe is uncomfortable--and Emily pries off the heel to investigate--she discovers a stash of precious stones that has the power not only to make her own life uncomfortable--but to end it completely. Someone is using Emily's Place, the fashionista's favorite discount shoe store on New York City's colorful Upper West Side, to traffic in stolen stones, and the list of possible suspects keep growing. Was it Freddie the Fox, a local kid who sold her a few pair at a really good price " because they fell off a truck?" Or was it Italian Mafia--the shoes were imported from Italy--or worse yet, was it the Russian Mafia, expanding their neighborhood fur business? Nobody in the neighborhood seems to be able to resist the temptation those gems provide--not even Emily herself. But she knows that whoever has stashed those stones is going to come back for them and she begins to worry--big time--not only about herself but about her other customers, whose heels, stuffed with diamonds and rubies, even now might be taking them on a short-cut to the cemetery.
The nicely arch tone of Siegel’s worthy sequel to 2010’s Goodie One Shoes is established at the opening (“Does the Angel of Death exist? And if so, does He wear shoes?”). Emily, a former English teacher who runs a discount shoe store on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, has acquired a stock of Italian black leather shoes made by Periggi & Sons from a suspect source. After a customer, Sophia Sarfatti, complains about the fit of a pair of these shoes, Emily finds diamonds hidden in one of the heels. That discovery casts her view of another customer’s desire to buy her full stock of Periggi shoes in a different light, and her suspicion that the customer knows about the gems is enhanced after she finds Sophia dead in the woman’s apartment. Emily doubts that the death was natural and persuades both her estranged husband, referred to as Larry the Loser, and her friend on the NYPD, Murphy the Cop, to help her investigate, as the violence escalates. Admirers of Kinky Friedman’s comic mayhem should be pleased. (BookLife)