This is a light entertainment that no one will take very seriously with a plucky heroine and an amusing supporting cast.
Rachel Gold once worked for the huge law firm of Abbot & Windsor in Chicago, but decided to go out on her own. She's happy in her own small practice, but is then asked to look into a matter by the managing partner of her old firm. One of the senior partners, Graham Anderson Marshall III has just died, allegedly at his desk but actually in the apartment of a high-priced call girl where he was wrapped up on some sort of leather outfit.
It turns out that the late Mr. Marshall had added a very strange codicil to his will, providing $40,000 in trust for the maintenance of a grave at a local pet cemetery. Oddly, Marshall never owned any pets and apparently never knew anyone who did. The managing partner is baffled and wants Rachel to quietly check into the matter to see what is actually buried in the grave.
Inevitably, someone beats her to it and steals the coffin from the grave before Rachel can get to it. This poses a serious problem for Rachel and for Maggie Sullivan, the woman who owns the pet cemetery. Sullivan is hoping to land the funeral and burial for a hippo who has just recently died at a local zoo and is worried that the bad publicity from the stolen coffin could nix her chances. (This will give you some idea of the general tenor of the book.)
At any rate, Rachel soldiers on and finds herself in the middle of a very complex and dangerous situation. There's a somewhat wacky supporting cast, including the hooker in whose arms Graham Marshall expired. There's the requisite hunky boyfriend who has betrayed Rachel and is trying to worm his way back into her good graces, not to mention her bed. All this leads to a very convoluted ending which climaxes at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium.
This is one of those books that leaves me somewhat at odds with myself. Michael A. Kahn has written a book that will appeal to a large number of readers who enjoy novels like this, and I can appreciate that he has done a very good job of it. On the other hand, this is not the sort of novel that normally appeals to me and I would not have read it save for the fact that one of my book clubs picked it for this month. And while I don't regret having read it, I doubt that I will be following the misadventures of Rachel Gold any farther.