Books by Vincent Lardo

Released: May 21, 2001

"Beneath the glitzy, bitchy ensemble work is an old-fashioned whodunit complete with a locked room and an unbreakable alibi. Talk about something for everyone."
One year after the East Hampton Town Police were closing in on him and his foster father, hard-pressed commercial fisherman Job Ryan, for seagoing pickups of mysterious packages on behalf of even more mysterious clients, Bill Ryan seems to have recovered nicely. Capitalizing on the interest of designer underwear manufacturer Freddy Parc and neophyte producer Joshua Aldridge, he's back in Amagansett to star in a new play tailored for his limited acting talents. His opening night comes crashing down, though, with the news that the body of Job's daughter Heather has been found in the cottage Michael shares with his costar, ambitious ingénue Lisa Kennedy, and his friend and fellow underwear model Paul Monroe. Heather's been strangled with a Freddy Parc jockstrap and thrown on Paul's bed inside the locked cottage. Since Bill and Lisa both have cast-iron alibis established by hundreds of theatergoers, Lt. Christopher Oliveri and Det. Eddy Evans focus on Paul, the only other suspect with access to the murder scene. But with all the well-dressed sharks circling the waters—from alcoholic movie director Tony Vasquez to Hollywood-shy stage actress Amanda Richards to Ian Edwards, the boyfriend whose baby Heather was carrying—the cops could just as easily have sold tickets to the murder scene as to Bill's play or the film version of The Hampton Affair (1999), the first novel Lardo's cheeky enough to have his continuing characters put into production. Read full book review >
Released: May 24, 1999

A debut mystery, set in the Hamptons, in which the very rich and the very poor are seen as mutually explosive. Consider the case of young Galen Miller, for instance. He's become so positively bedazzled by the glitter he confronts on a daily basis that it's debased his value system, seduced him into believing there is no such thing as criminal behavior. To him, poverty is the only crime, and anything that works to fend it off is, therefore, justifiable. Even murder. As a result, Galen kills his conniving stepmother to keep her from cheating him out of his share of a million dollars. It's a nonexistent million, it turns out, a predictable delusion given the kind of fantasy world both Galen and his alcoholic father inhabit. Mark Barrett, head of those powerful East Hampton Barretts, easily leads the feckless pair astray, drastically overstating the potential value of the Millers' hardscrabble farm. Mark has his reasons, most of them acquisitive—as acquisitive as his reasons for paying court to Vicky, daughter of deceased billionaire Joseph Kirkpatrick. Never mind that Vicky is already married. Never mind that her husband Michael (a match for Mark in acquisitiveness) is on to his game. The thing is it's a game played by Hampton rules, which, it seems, are wildly permissive—extortion, perversion, and even murder all safely within bounds—providing the payoff is big enough. Lardo writes respectably, but his plotlines get tangled, his characters are mostly noxious, and who'd ever want to go near his Hamptons? Read full book review >