MAN WITH A SQUIRREL by Nicholas Kilmer


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 It isn't long after the harmless old gent who'd staked out his librarian lover Molly Riley's place turns up dead on the banks of the Charles that Fred Taylor comes on a much more appealing, though equally serendipitous, find in antique dealer Oona Imry's shop: a fragment of a painting that just might be by John Singleton Copley. Fred's employer, omnivorous art collector Clayton Reed, charms Oona into selling the handsomely painted squirrel at a man's feet, and Fred promptly goes hunting for the rest of the canvas. But the second third, though it's free for the taking, comes at a much higher price: Oona's pianist nephew Marek Hrics¢ gives it to Fred after semi-nude Oona's been ground under the wheels of a train. The lethal treasure hunt for the last third of the Copley (if that's what it is) is obviously tied in to the defunct stalker, and to the mumbo-jumbo malpractice of Satanic deprogrammer Dr. Eunice Cover-Hoover, who's been lurking equally portentously in the shadows of Molly's telephone from the word go. Watching Fred follow the trail from Copley to Satan--by way of Adult Rescue, Inc., a coven of the weirdest heavies you've ever seen outside the astral realm--stands in for the sort of mystery that would have you asking whodunit. Fred remains as charming as in his debut (Harmony in Flesh and Black, 1995), and if the culprits aren't exactly the stuff of nightmares, they pack all the menace of good comic-book villains.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-8050-3666-0
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 1996


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