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Stuff to Spy For by Don Bruns
Review by Ernest Lilley
Oceanview Publishing Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 1608090027
Date: 07 March 2011 List Price $15.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Skip, his best friend James, and his girlfriend Em are are twenty somethings in Carol County Florida with a knack for getting into trouble. When a high end security system installation falls into Skip's lap, courtesy of a high school flame, he should know better than to think James won't get him in over his head (again) and that Em will standby while he acts as accomplice to his old flame's home-wrecking caper. And that's before international espionage comes into the picture.

Skip is the sensible one, James is the one who pushes doors open to see what's on the other side, and Em is the girl who's out of Skip's league, but loves him anyway. All three are back for the third book in Don Burn's wacky series about a pair of guys who bumble their way into danger and excitement far too easily.

Skip does door to door sales for an alarm company, and when he runs into Sarah Crumby, the girl he'd dreamed about in high school, and she tells him she needs a high end security system for the company she works for it seems like the stars are all aligned for once.

Except that she needs him to pretend he's her boyfriend to throw her bosses wife off the scent, she's an ex-hooker, the company she works for is doing mysterious work for the Department of Defense, and people working there are turning up dead. And that's pretty much for openers.

Skip lives in a run down section of Florida with his best friend and roommate James. James has a pretty reliable track record of getting Skip into trouble, so it comes as no surprise that bringing him onto the installation job means that things get more complicated in a hurry. To be fair to James, he's not the one who agrees to spy on the cheating husband he's providing an alibi for with Sarah. He is, however, the one whose ambitions always run away with the pair, and soon he's convinced Skip to turn their aging box truck into a spy lab on wheels with an assortment of spy stuff they hope will be paid for by the multiple bonuses that they're going to collect when the installation, cuckolding, and private investigations that they're running concurrently all come to a happy conclusion.

What could go wrong?

True confessions require that I admit I haven't read the first two books. I was surprised to find that this wasn't the first, as I kept thinking that this would make a great series once the boys (and Em, who pops up with a cool head when needed) got things ironed out a bit. I still think it's a great series, but am a little disappointed that the boys haven't resolved anything in their lives yet. Em's too good to hang around forever waiting for Skip, though the author makes it clear she's pretty determined. I just hope he grows up enough before the books wind down to make it worth the wait.

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