A FINE AND PRIVATE PLACE by James E. Martin

A FINE AND PRIVATE PLACE

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Breezy Cleveland PI Gil Disbro's latest client, frail old Judge Lowell Amerine, has a truly unusual problem. For nine months now he's been paying blackmail to somebody who knows he let his scapegrace nephew Barry Sprague, already in Dutch with gambler Gus Cusimano, bury his lover Megan Latimer (who OD'd on some drugs she shared with Barry) out in the wilds of the judge's backyard. But now he's gotten a demand from a second blackmailer, and enough is enough. Gil goes to work and swiftly discovers that: (1) the first blackmailer, one G.K. Hatton, doesn't exist; (2) Gus and his goons are a lot more intimately involved with Barry than the judge realizes; and (3) Megan is still alive. So far, so good, and when Gil ties all this malfeasance to his old acquaintance Slick Underhill's ingenious con for making big money on a no-name middleweight bout, the pot seems to be bubbling merrily. But then the judge suffers a fatal heart attack; Slick turns up equally dead; Gil figures out who's really buried out back of the judge's place; and you spend the rest of the time keeping track of the bodies (there'll be more) and waiting for the killer's luck to run down. Initially, Gil and the case are as beguiling as last time (And Then You Die, 1992), but once again Martin's resort to wholesale homicide is the sign of his flagging invention. Maybe he ought to stick to one-acts.

Pub Date: Aug. 24th, 1994
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Morrow