Accident or murder? A shamus with an English degree investigates.
Andrew Carpenter, a doctor involved in stem-cell research, is killed in a hit-and-run that the police write off as an accident. Mrs. Carpenter showed them death threats her husband received from an organization called the Party of God, but p.i. Nathaniel Singer, a self-described sensitive Jewish boy from New Jersey, finds that they did an uncharacteristically sloppy investigative job. He agrees to look into the case for the widow but warns that he may never discover the truth. That doesn’t mean there are no results, though. Nathaniel is beaten up by the racist Party of God treasurer and threatened by Lee Macy, the cop who originally investigated Carpenter’s death. The two events convince him that Dr. Carpenter was murdered. The arrogant doctor, beloved by some, was disliked by enough to provide many suspects. After the Party of God secretary agrees to turn some of their papers over to Nathaniel, she’s murdered before that can happen. Nathaniel’s part-time coed secretary is threatened, and he’s fortunate to escape death in a snowbound Adirondack cabin. Though he may prefer his kinder, gentler side, he has to turn into Spenser, sans Hawk, to get to the bottom of the complicated, dangerous case.
A welcome addition to the ranks of hardboiled private eyes with a softer side.