Just as funny as Dick’s debut (Shortcut Man, 2011), but more consistently plotted in the manner of all your favorite...

TRIBULATIONS OF SHORTCUT MAN

A marital swindle plunges Dick Henry, the man who slices through Gordian knots for a living, into a stew of other schemers, lots of them witless, some of them real sharpies, most of them with just as many boundary issues as him.

Even though the cancellation of his TV show has left her husband, Superior Court Judge Harry Glidden, flat broke, his movie-star helpmeet Ellen Havertine is not without her resources. Spotting the enormous puddle of cash in which aging developer Art Lewis is sitting, she hatches a plot to dope Lewis and marry him off to her sister, nurse Eileen Klasky, so that she can inherit $50 million when the old boy pops off. Unfortunately, Lewis’ latest girlfriend, exotic dancer Pussy Grace, has been so worried about his failure to return her calls that she’s prevailed on Dick Henry, the Shortcut Man, to join her in infiltrating his home in disguise. During their brief but eventful visit, Lewis really does die, and from that moment on it’s a race between Hangin’ Harry and his wife, who want to conceal the corpse until they can mop up any loose ends that might keep Eileen from claiming her inheritance, and Dick and Pussy, who’d just as soon avoid becoming loose ends. Yes, there are other wrinkles as well, from Dick’s continued attachment to Nedra Scott, the old flame who refuses to let any sharklike developers force her out of her rat-infested building, to Rutland Atwater, who takes BO to the level of the hydrogen bomb.

Just as funny as Dick’s debut (Shortcut Man, 2011), but more consistently plotted in the manner of all your favorite criminal zanies.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4391-9421-8

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Dec. 29, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2012

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An anodyne visit with Tricia and her friends and enemies hung on a thin mystery.

A KILLER EDITION

Too much free time leads a New Hampshire bookseller into yet another case of murder.

Now that Tricia Miles has Pixie Poe and Mr. Everett practically running her bookstore, Haven’t Got a Clue, she finds herself at loose ends. Her wealthy sister, Angelica, who in the guise of Nigela Ricita has invested heavily in making Stoneham a bookish tourist attraction, is entering the amateur competition for the Great Booktown Bake-Off. So Tricia, who’s recently taken up baking as a hobby, decides to join her and spends a lot of time looking for the perfect cupcake recipe. A visit to another bookstore leaves Tricia witnessing a nasty argument between owner Joyce Widman and next-door neighbor Vera Olson over the trimming of tree branches that hang over Joyce’s yard—also overheard by new town police officer Cindy Pearson. After Tricia accepts Joyce’s offer of some produce from her garden, they find Vera skewered by a pitchfork, and when Police Chief Grant Baker arrives, Joyce is his obvious suspect. Ever since Tricia moved to Stoneham, the homicide rate has skyrocketed (Poisoned Pages, 2018, etc.), and her history with Baker is fraught. She’s also become suspicious about the activities at Pets-A-Plenty, the animal shelter where Vera was a dedicated volunteer. Tricia’s offered her expertise to the board, but president Toby Kingston has been less than welcoming. With nothing but baking on her calendar, Tricia has plenty of time to investigate both the murder and her vague suspicions about the shelter. Plenty of small-town friendships and rivalries emerge in her quest for the truth.

An anodyne visit with Tricia and her friends and enemies hung on a thin mystery.

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0272-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Berkley

Review Posted Online: May 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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Joe’s fifth case is his best balanced, most deeply felt and most mystifying to date: an absolute must.

OUT OF RANGE

Crime-fighting Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett outdoes himself during a temporary transfer from sleepy Saddlestring to fashionable Jackson Hole.

Will Jensen, the Jackson game warden, was a great guy and a model warden, but once his wife left him six months ago, he spiraled into madness and suicide, and now Joe’s been called to replace him. The transition is anything but smooth. There’s no question of Joe’s family coming with him, so he’s reduced to hoping he can get a signal for the cell-phone calls he squeezes into his busy schedule. En route to his new posting, Joe has to pursue a marauding grizzly. He arrives to meet a formidable series of challenges. Cantankerous outfitter Smoke Van Horn wants to go on attracting elk with illegal salt licks without the new warden’s interference. Animal Liberation Network activist Pi Stevenson wants him to publicize her cause and adopt a vegan diet. Developer Don Ennis wants to open a housing development for millionaires who like their meat free of additives. Ennis’s trophy wife Stella simply wants Joe—and he wants her back. As he wrestles with these demands, and with a supervisor riled over Joe’s track record of destroying government property in pursuit of bad guys (Trophy Hunt, 2004, etc.), Joe slowly becomes convinced that Will did not kill himself.

Joe’s fifth case is his best balanced, most deeply felt and most mystifying to date: an absolute must.

Pub Date: May 5, 2005

ISBN: 0-399-15291-1

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2005

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