A Twin Cities private eye investigates when a resident of the retirement home across the street is murdered.
Augustus Molinaro died no ordinary death. His wheelchair was blown up by a bomb. So it makes sense that the Sheltering Limbs resident led no ordinary life either. He was “Greasy Gus” Molinaro, a criminal capo whose search for peace and quiet didn’t take him quite far enough. Sean Sean, who became a PI because he was too short for the police department, is interested enough in the murder to ask a few questions of his own. So it works out conveniently when a pair of clients evidently as mobbed-up as the victim hire him to find the killer without burdening him with their names, addresses or phone numbers. Whether he’s tracking down a blue Audi at the scene of the bombing or cozying up to elderly Blanche Essen, another guest of Sheltering Limbs, Sean has a pleasantly unassuming manner that sets him miles apart from Philip Marlowe and Lew Archer. Brookins even cuts decorously away from Sean’s sex scenes with his ladylove, massage therapist Catherine Mckerney.
Brookins (Bloody Halls, 2008, etc.) makes the case a cluttered, low-energy affair that fizzles out instead of winding up. On the plus side, there is a distinctly original motive for Don Molinaro’s demise.