MR. YESTERDAY by Elliott Chaze


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Eccentric old Elizabeth Cole, last seen trying to feed the corpse of her deceased nephew at the local Burger King, is now dead herself--apparently having fallen off a ladder. But Kiel St. James, city editor of the Catherine Call, wonders about foul play. After all, a mysterious stash of cash is found in Elizabeth's house; furthermore, her land--and that of her sister Natalie--is being considered for controversial use as a nuclear-waste storage dig. And then Natalie is dead too, her chest punctured by the horns of a goat (!)--while St. James' favorite reporter, alcoholic Briscoe Risk (""Mr. Yesterday,"" a once great wife-service man), is finding some fishy goings-on as he researches the nuclear-waste-storage story and recovers his self-esteem. So: are the two deaths and the nuclear-waste controversy all connected? Well, not really--since the plot here is even creakier than the one in St. James' first mystery-outing, Goodbye Goliath (1983). But, if farfetched and unsatisfying as detection, Chaze's down-home mix--raunchy farce (a tad of bestiality), newspaper sentiment, a little action, a lot of flavorsome talk--offers some offbeat, half-charming rewards along the way.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1984
Publisher: Scribners