Margaret Chittenden. Dead Men Don’t Dance (1997) 281 pp.
She gets her red hair from a Scottish ancestor; her attitude is all her own. One thing is certain: Charlie Plato is not your average female entrepreneur. But then, situated on the San Francisco peninsula not far from the San Andreas fault, Chaps isn’t your ordinary country-western nightclub. For Charlie, managing Chaps, with its veritable menagerie of eccentric patrons, is one adventure after another. Especially when Zack Hunter, a former television heartthrob who’s just too good-looking for his own good, decides to run for political office. The race for City Council turns even hotter when Zack’s opponent turns up dead—in the trunk of Zack’s brand-new Lexus. With the police moving in on him, Charlie decides it’s time to do something...and learns more than she ever wanted to know about Zack’s secret past. Still he’s the one man she can’t resist, even with a murder rap hanging over him. But putting the pieces together soon reveals a picture that’s far from pretty and just might get her killed.
Setting: San Francisco