Books by Rick Hanson

Released: Aug. 1, 1997

The process server whom becalmed sculptor Adam McCleet has been avoiding isn't trying to repossess Adam's chattels; he's notifying him that he's due for a legacy under the terms of late salmon king Graden Porcelli's will. But the terms of the will- -Adam's due for equal shares with Porcelli's other six heirs if only he can get evidence that'll produce an indictment in an unsolved murder, victim and date unspecified—almost make Adam wish it had been a repo man on his doorstep. The sad fact is that the other six heirs—Porcelli's batty widow Amelia, his Tourette's-afflicted son Harrison, his dimwit nephew Sam, his quiet niece Tia, his salty old partner Tiger Jorgenson, and his veteran plant manager Whit Parkens—seem to have a very short shelf life, and as Adam's stake in the Porcelli fortune spurts up (it starts at $2.1 million and rises with each demise of his fellow-heirs), his chance of reaching payday approaches the vanishing point. Adam's only hope is to solve the 40-year-old murder of Porcelli's onetime benefactor Harold Mann—if Mann was murdered, if there's any evidence after all this time, if this is even the murder the salmon king had in mind. Meantime, Adam will have to contend with such minor setbacks as getting stuck with the Celebrity Hotel's Anthony Perkins room. Not as funny as Adam's first three cases (Still Life, 1996, etc.)—but the unaccustomed attention to the suspect heirs helps focus Hanson's bustling energy. Read full book review >
STILL LIFE by Rick Hanson
Released: June 1, 1996

Weird is the word for what happens to cop-turned-sculptor Adam McCleet (Mortal Remains, 1995, etc.) when Alison Brooks, the Portland gallery owner who admires his body of work as much as he admires her body, drags him down to Taos for a show. When inoffensive Dental Stoker, the man who gives them directions to Adam's sister Margot's ranch, is murdered under Adam's nose, Sheriff Shirley Gomez-Gomez arrests Adam—along with Dental's son and his wife, a former rock singer, a Swedish physicist with a fixation on a luminescent alien, and his aspiring son-in-law, Dustin. The mystery will lead Adam and the other suspects—each as brightly colored and thin as a paper doll—to rattlesnakes, New Age nudists, and the inevitably anticlimactic alien remains. Hanson's obvious geniality makes this installment as easy to take—and as hard to remember—as his first two. Read full book review >
Released: June 1, 1995

How's this for a novel murder weapon? Somebody's killed Dr. Reeves Washington, chief of staff at the Mount Prairie Psychiatric Institute in Portland, Ore., by drugging one of his patients (a veteran and victim of post-traumatic stress disorder) with a wicked chemical that makes him go berserk and kill the good doctor during a therapy session. (Sound chancy? Maybe if the killer had drugged somebody who'd been kept waiting half an hour...) When irrepressible sculptor Adam McCleet asks who turned Kurt Schmidt into a killing machine, Mount Prairie comes alive with the sounds of suspects throwing themselves at him, from chainsaw sculptor Jonathan Noble, who's trying to evict the Institute from his land, to officious head nurse Fran Lavin, to Washington's heir apparent, Dr. Marion Grimhaur, to Raven Parducci, the lawyer who's defending everybody against everybody else's lawsuits. Less insistently bright than Adam's debut (Spare Parts, 1994), but less inventive too, without any more coherence or mystification to compensate. Even Adam's monstrously pushy sister Margot, who changes husbands like you change underwear, seems tentative. Read full book review >
SPARE PARTS by Rick Hanson
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

Portland cop-turned-sculptor Adam McCleet just wants to be left alone to work himself out of his latest artistic rut, but his nagging sister Margot insists that he find out what's happened to her husband, Phillip Stang, AWOL from an orthodontists' convention in Seattle. So Adam—leaving his ailing mentor, his orgasmic gallery owner, and her effeminate but heterosexual assistant behind—heads up to the big city and deep into sitcom trouble. Minutes after Adam's broken into Phil's hotel room, he's picked up by hotel security and the local police. A boorish cop takes such an instant dislike to him that he drags him on a long ride to see the crustacean-chewed body of a man who isn't even Phil. Has Phil become the fourth victim of the Yuppie Ripper, who preys on visiting professional men? Will chasing a pair of suspicious hookers in the convention's Toothmobile give Adam some fast answers? Will he ever learn the provenance of the new anesthetic ``that makes you feel like a teenager and gives a man a 24-hour erection''? Or will the return of Phil, dumped on the steps of a Portland hospital minus a kidney, take the pressure off Adam and bring this cheerful, cutesy story to a premature end? (No such luck on this last one: Phil solemnly adjures him: ``Adam, I want you to avenge my kidney.'') A brash, friendly, eager-to-please first novel whose cast of comic types makes it as good-natured and mysterious as a rerun of Get Smart! Read full book review >