Mystery takes a back seat to wise-cracking in this series debut, featuring former nurse Pauline Sokol, who embarks on a new career as a medical fraud investigator. Readers of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series will recognize several similar characters, including the lovable but at times inept heroine and a handsome mystery man who helps her learn a new trade.

When newbie P.I. Pauline goes under-cover at a clinic, she only wants to get solid evidence that someone employed there has been cheating her company. As Pauline familiarizes herself with the tools of her trade, she comically messes up several attempts to gets the evidence she needs. Instead, she unwittingly discovers clues to a much bigger scam.

Avocato has an offbeat sense of humor that mostly amuses but sometimes feels overworked. While the story is solid, the pace sometimes lags. (Oct., 320 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Cindy Harrison