DIAL ""M"" FOR MURDOCK by Robert J. Ray


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Another involved, convoluted p.i. case for California toughie Matt ""Sherlock"" Murdock (Murdock for Hire; Bloody Murdock), who here meets with Heartland Insurance's Bruce Halliburton and agrees to investigate Claude Belker's death--which may have been staged to cash in on his policies' millions. Bruce is soon dead on the beach, however, with Murdock enamored of his girlfriend Roxanne--the widow of another Heartland policyholder and sudden-death victint under investigation by Bruce--and a list of Bruce's indicates a dozen vastly insured millionaires who have died in fiery explosions, flaming car crashes, etc. Behind the scam: several dummy corporations listed as beneficiaries. The deal: the promise of an idealized life--free of boring wives, tedious businesses, and responsibilities--for a substantial fee to the ""death"" arrangers. The hook: the ""dead"" are two-timed by their ""killers"" and left broke, with no resources and no one to complain to. By the time Murdock connects all the clues, he's been incarcerated in a frozen-yogurt vat, jilted by the brainy Roxanne and been witness to so many killings and beatings that he declines Heartland's offer to continue working for them. Fast, accomplished, and slick, but the dead men's new lives are nothing more than prurient teen-age fantasies.

Pub Date: Dec. 16th, 1988
Publisher: St. Martin's