After leaving the IRS, a Reno private eye–in-training lands a high-profile case, loses it, lands it again, and finally puts it, and several other parties, to bed.
Maude "Ma" Clary, who runs Clary Investigations, aims to keep a tight leash on Mortimer Angel while he’s working for her. As if. When dazzling Danya Fuller, encountering Mort at a bar, recognizes him from his high-mortality last case (Gumshoe for Two, 2017) and asks him to phone her the next morning, Mort ignores Ma’s warnings about her, and before he can say "my bad," he’s discovered the body of missing rapper Jonnie Xenon, aka Jo-X, hanged and shot in the garage of the place Danya shares with Shanna Hayes. Danya runs from Mort as if he had a social disease, but he soon has an unlikely new client: his old frenemy Detective Russell Fairchild, of the Reno Police Department, who turns out to be Danya’s father. A badly spelled note demanding $1 million from Danya and Shanna as the price for hauling away Jo-X’s corpse indicates further complications. But Mort’s adventures don’t kick into high gear until Lucy K. Landry, a small-town waitress who's 31 but looks underage, latches onto him, begging him to take her on as his assistant, and leads him into a fevered Las Vegas fantasy of topless car rides, high-stakes roulette, and wild living in a comped suite. Mort’s determination to avoid his scolding boss and his cheerfully sexist obsession with tight-bodied females, all of whom seem to find him irresistible, consistently upstage the question of who killed Jo-X, though fans may be surprised at just how casual and disappointing the mystery is.
A high-spirited pipe dream of nonstop wisecracks, female pulchritude, and physical combat most likely to appeal to readers who still miss the men’s magazines of the 1950s.