Unlicensed, untrammeled, uncensored South Central shamus Isaiah Quintabe’s fourth case could be his toughest—and not because it’s so hard to figure out whodunit.
Nobody says no to arms dealer Angus Byrne, and he certainly doesn’t intend for IQ to be the first. So when East Long Beach’s premiere unofficial investigator, who’s been kidnapped and marched into the dealer’s presence after declining an earlier invitation from his goons, indicates in no uncertain terms that no, he’s not interested in clearing Angus’ daughter, custom tailor Christiana Byrne, from suspicion of shooting Tyler Barnes, Angus’ very best employee, Angus promptly turns up the heat, threatening to break the hand of IQ’s girlfriend, violinist Stella McDaniels, if Christiana is so much as arrested for murder. Not enough pressure for you? Well, IQ’s attachment to Stella is about to be seriously tested by the return of his lost love Grace Monarova, who took off for New Mexico with IQ’s dog in the wake of his last adventure (Wrecked, 2018). And Christiana turns out to be not one but five suspects, including homebody Pearl, seductive Marlene, adolescent Jasper, and guardian Bertrand, all fighting for attention and control inside Christiana’s tormented psyche. Figuring out which of the five personalities witnessed which events on the night of the murder and which of them can remember and describe anything about what really happened would be a tall order for any sleuth. But although he isn’t just any sleuth, IQ has to juggle a record number of subplots and distractions, from his buddy Thomas Kahill’s sudden yearning for true love to the maneuvering of Angus’ lieutenants for control of his arms empire to a series of increasingly intemperate skirmishes over a particular prize, a modern rendition of a Gatling gun.
Mystery and detection compete with a gorgeous swarm of supercharged personalities on their own wild rides.