Jess Randolph
Created by Margaret Lucke

JESS RANDOLPH is a San Francisco artist now working as a P.I. who has appeared in a couple of short stories so far, several mini-mysteries for Salon Magazine's website, and one novel (so far), the Anthony-nominated A Relative Stranger in which her client is her own long-lost father.

Aiding and abetting her in her cases is San Francisco Homicide Inspector Nick Gardino, who she goes to pains to explain is a friend, but not one of those friends "who shared typical Sunday morning activities -- going to church, working the crossword puzzle together over coffee or snuggling under the covers." Me thinks the lady doth protest too much....
From Kirkus Reviews
Yet another plucky California p.i. debut--San Francisco's Jessica Randolph, who works for Parks & O'Meara Investigations (O'Meara's a dog). Her case: to prove that her father, who abandoned her years ago, did not murder his business partner's daughter, Debbie Collington, after escorting her to the Art & Flowers Ball. Like Jess, Debbie was estranged from her dad, and tabloid pictures showed her cavorting on the yacht of Colombian emerald/cocaine-importer Guillermo Reyes. Then Jess discovers Debbie's emerald necklace was really paste; a wildly expensive oil painting was stolen from her apartment (did her boyfriend Peter Brockway love her or her valuables?); and sweet Debbie was actually a blackmailer. Who was her target? Her own dad? Jess's dad? Or? Another murder occurs, a plane ticket is fudged, and the art thief is accosted before Deb's murder is brought to justice, and Jess and her father begin, tentatively, a small friendship. Earnest, simplistic, contrived--with a dull heroine, some unengaging romantic twinges, and a gooey (to say the least) father- daughter rapproachment. First, alas, in a series. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

A Relative Stranger was supposed to be the first in a series of novels, but so far, only short have followed its publication. Lucke, however, has published a few writing books, including Schaum's Quick Guide to Writing Great Short Stories (1998) and Writing Mysteries (1999).



Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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