Even when it finally comes to Syracuse, N.Y., spring brings no joy to sleuthing pet-shop owner Robin Light (Salt City Blues, 2005, etc.).
When she learns from her gay friend John that his partner may be cheating with Benny Gibson, Robin Light asks her bar-owner boss Ian Yates to ride with her to Benny’s place. They arrive to find the police on the scene as Benny’s daughter accuses Robin of killing him. After apologizing to Robin over the phone, John kills himself with no further explanation. Naturally, the ever-curious Robin just has to meddle despite warnings to leave the mess alone. In addition to official police suspicion, she has to deal with her old boyfriend George, who constantly asks her for dates even though he’s married to the jealous blonde who’s the mother of his child. Meanwhile, her shop assistant Manuel is involved with some drug-dealing Indians. And the store is as always on the verge of bankruptcy. Robin’s sleuthing turns up a connection among the sleazy dead landlord, Benny, his surgically-enhanced brother, John’s boyfriend and a well-connected Syracuse wheeler-dealer rumored to be planning a new casino. Cruising the mean streets of Syracuse looking for answers, Robin’s not at all happy with what she finds.
Another of Block’s dark tales of the seamy side of Syracuse and a morally ambivalent heroine who can’t quit looking for answers.