Tipping the Valet: A Workplace Mystery
by K.K. Beck
Review by Sherry Lilley
Perseverance Press Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9781564745637
Date: 09 September 2015 List Price $15.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Being a parking valet is not a bad job. The tips are pretty good, and it is an accommodating schedule. So when Tyler Benson needs a job to pay of his student loans, he works as a parking valet. The body in the car, the attempted murder of a software zillionaire, and the activities of the Russian mafia, were not part of his plan.
When Tyler gets a chance to work at the upscale restaurant Alba, he jumps at it. After all, better tips at an upscale restaurant. But his first night there, things go badly awry. His father shows up. Tyler's father is not all that successful at business, and when Tyler lets it slip that Scott Duckworth will be there, his dad has to show up. After all, his dad and Scott go way back. His dad "helped" get Scott started. Dad is sure Scott will invest in Dad's latest scheme. Tyler is not pleased when his inebriated father shows up and hustles him off as rapidly as possible, leaving behind one of Dad's slippers. Then, just as Scott is entering the restaurant, somebody in a dark car drives by, shooting at Scott. Scott is not hit, but one of the other valets is hit, although not seriously. The ensuing police investigation turns up a host of interesting coincidences, and the puzzle of why there is a lone slipper at the scene.
There's also the complication of a body in the trunk of a car that was at the restaurant the night before. Tyler's fingerprints are on the trunk of the car. Also, the owner of the car had been by, before Tyler knew that a body had been found in the car, to tip, or bribe, Tyler into not mentioning that he knew the owner from Tyler's other valet job at a not-so-fancy casino.
Adding to the mild mayhem is a car theft ring, using the valets to identify and tag cars with a GPS. The GPS makes it easy to locate them, after they leave the restaurant, and steal them. Then the cars are shipped off to other places. But maybe, okay, definitely, a couple of the valets, in fact the very valets who are identifying and tagging the cars, are taking a car here and there for themselves. One of the valets is the valet that was wounded in the drive by shooting aimed at Scott Duckworth.
Once the police start looking into all this, and questioning people, they learn of Tyler's felony conviction a few years earlier, and start wondering what his involvement in this might be.
As I was reading the book, the thought "of course that's what happened" kept running through my head. But I was wrong. The book seems to have an obvious solution, but not really. When I got to the end, it wasn't what I had imagined it would be. Yes, some of the story was predictable, but not the big stuff. This is an enjoyable book, hard to explain, and hard to put down.