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by Craig McDonald

Pub Date: Feb. 15th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-312-55438-5
Publisher: Minotaur

Hector Lassiter (Print the Legend, 2010, etc.) and his best friend Ernest Hemingway go sleuthing in Paris.

1924 means lights out for a certain kind of editor and publisher in the City of Lights. These are the people who keep afloat the little literary magazines in which obscure poets and storytellers have a shot at actually seeing their work in print. They’re inoffensive types by and large, difficult to hate, and yet a small army of them have been meeting untimely deaths in unseemly ways, strangled, poisoned, drowned. But a posse is being formed on the left bank. Deciding that enough is enough, Gertrude Stein gathers a literary counterforce and issues marching orders: Catch the killer. The corps includes Ernest Hemingway—on the obscure side himself, since In Our Time and The Sun Also Rises have yet to appear—and crime-fiction writer Hector Lassiter. Hem and Hec join up reluctantly, reasoning that the Paris PD is full of professionals who trump them at killer-catching. But then Hec falls in love, perhaps twice, both times with mysterious beauties who may be more closely connected to the murders than he would have thought possible. Hec shifts into sleuth mode, his pal ostensibly in support, though that towering figure has seldom appeared quite so gratuitous.

A rail-thin mystery burdened by an overload of clinical sex.