CAME A DEAD CAT by James Frey


Email this review


Semi-tough California (yes, another one) p.i. Odyssey Gallagher listens to the rich Mrs. Holmcroft's sad tale--her hubby's mistress, Rachel Collins, an employee of the Lemming Cocktail Lounge, has been harassing her with calls and a parcel containing a dead cat--and agrees to track down Rachel and ask her to desist. Rachel, however, is missing; Mr. Holmcroft has his own p.i. on the case; and the bodies, including Mr. Holmcroft's, soon start piling up. Meanwhile, Holmcroft's real love, his mousy secretary, is distraught; Odyssey's stodgy boyfriend Martin moves out when her old lover, opportunist Charlie Gore, makes new moves on her; and Odyssey's boss, Mr. Frampton, wants her to drop the case. Furthermore, Mrs. Holmcroft and her overcoddled, sadistic son are alternately alibiing and then incriminating each other. Tailed, shot at, and lied to, the indomitable Odyssey perseveres and, finally, untangles the business shenanigans from the romantic and homicidal ones, and, with an assist from Charlie, saves the state the cost of a trial. Edgar-nominee Frey (A Long Way To Die) has the p.i. conventions down cold: cynical imagery, personal code of justice, soured love-life. With fewer cute encumbrances (martial-arts sessions, for instance), Odyssey could develop into someone worth knowing.

Pub Date: Nov. 21st, 1991
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: St. Martin's