A half-Gypsy, bisexual opera singer makes a snobbish, unlikely and often uninterested sleuth.
Max Bravo’s European tour is interrupted by a series of desperate phone calls from his longtime friend Claudia Fantini, whose husband Larry wants a divorce. When he returns home, he finds Claudia sodden with drink and her usually neat person and home in ruins. Taking Claudia’s terrier Asta to the dog park, he meets a very mixed bag of fellow dog walkers: the Catalan Jordi Almirall, Ed, an old hippie, the apparently rootless Gator, and the beautiful, pregnant Amy. The unlikely bunch become friends of sorts, and when Amy disappears, the others unite in suspecting her husband Steve of doing away with her. Max’s German lover arrives for a visit and joins the club, while Larry stalks Claudia, possibly with the intent of getting back together. The police question Steve but turn him loose, leaving the dog-park group to watch him and bug his house in an attempt to prove that he killed Amy. All the while, Claudia starts to get her life back together, Max continues to receive visits from his late grandmother, who wants him to marry a Gypsy girl, and events and people eventually prove to be far different than Max expected.
Robinson’s fiction debut is an amusing dark comedy with charismatic characters and a story that seems ripped from the headlines but turns out to be far more interesting than the truth.