Pint-sized Minneapolis private eye Sean Sean tangles with the shadowy forces who want to stop Jocelyn Bartelme’s search for her great uncle, missing and presumed dead since 1944.
It’s not just Josie who’s looking for Capt. Richard Terry Amundson, a flier who was shot down over tiny Yap Island in the Pacific during World War II. When he’s summoned to a meeting at the Bartelmes’ beachfront house, Sean (The Case of the Deceiving Don, 2008, etc.) is surprised to see not only Josie’s husband, Tod, who first came to his office, but Preston Pederson, Josie’s father, a Twin Cities mover and shaker; his attorney, Gareth Anderson; his apparent bagman, Richard Hillier; Alvin Pederson, presumably Josie’s cousin; and Maxine, his sexpot wife. They’ve all been variously engaged by Josie’s renewed interest in collecting information from veterans’ groups to track her missing relative. But they’re not all equally committed to the project. Someone, Tod tells Sean, keeps sabotaging their expensive research trips to Yap Island; someone takes a shot at their 16-year-old son, Cal; and someone—all right, Gareth Anderson—offers Sean a fat fee if he’ll just say no and walk away. But the murder of Stan Lewis, a fellow airman en route to Minneapolis with new information, piques Sean, and the shooting of Preston Pederson, whose corpse Sean discovers on his office floor in the opening sentence, settles it: he’ll see this case through to the end.
In truth, the essential lack of mystery makes it not much of a case and gives Sean, despite his unruffled self-confidence, very little to do as a detective. But readers who prefer mildly facetious non sequiturs to challenging puzzles and strenuous action may just find that this modest little tale hits the spot.