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A BEER AT A BAWDY HOUSE by David J. Walker


by David J. Walker

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-312-25242-0
Publisher: Minotaur

Whoever's blackmailing Peter Keegan, one of five auxiliary bishops in the Archdiocese of Chicago, seems to have missed

a page in the manual, since there's no hint of an extortion demand. But if the motive is unclear, the menace is real enough,

especially after Clayton Warfield, the detective the bishop hires to investigate, has his home invaded by arm-breaking thugs who

look suspiciously like police cronies of Peter's black-sheep brother Walter. So on the recommendation of amiable shyster Larry

Candle, he turns to Kirsten and Dugan, of Wild Onion, Limited (A Ticket to Die For, 1998). Nick and Nora Charles they're not,

since this husband-and-wife detective team relies heavily on its distaff side, Kirsten, and employs counter-thugs like Cuffs

McAuliffe to go punch-for-punch with brutes like Walter. But joined by Dugan, Kirsten digs not only into the youthful

indiscretion (the eponymous beer) that's behind the blackmail, but at Keegan's present ecclesiastical world—filled with saintly

co-workers and charitable works, but nonetheless harboring the motive for malfeasance.

Walker spins a stream of micro-mysteries (Why did Kirsten order too much Thai food? Why did she drive past her exit on

into Indiana?) that confuse more than tantalize. Still, some solid deductive work by an appealing duo puts this Wild Onion

adventure a cut above.