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by Vincent Lardo

Pub Date: May 21st, 2001
ISBN: 0-399-14631-8
Publisher: Putnam

One year after the East Hampton Town Police were closing in on him and his foster father, hard-pressed commercial fisherman Job Ryan, for seagoing pickups of mysterious packages on behalf of even more mysterious clients, Bill Ryan seems to have recovered nicely. Capitalizing on the interest of designer underwear manufacturer Freddy Parc and neophyte producer Joshua Aldridge, he’s back in Amagansett to star in a new play tailored for his limited acting talents. His opening night comes crashing down, though, with the news that the body of Job’s daughter Heather has been found in the cottage Michael shares with his costar, ambitious ingénue Lisa Kennedy, and his friend and fellow underwear model Paul Monroe. Heather’s been strangled with a Freddy Parc jockstrap and thrown on Paul’s bed inside the locked cottage. Since Bill and Lisa both have cast-iron alibis established by hundreds of theatergoers, Lt. Christopher Oliveri and Det. Eddy Evans focus on Paul, the only other suspect with access to the murder scene. But with all the well-dressed sharks circling the waters—from alcoholic movie director Tony Vasquez to Hollywood-shy stage actress Amanda Richards to Ian Edwards, the boyfriend whose baby Heather was carrying—the cops could just as easily have sold tickets to the murder scene as to Bill’s play or the film version of The Hampton Affair (1999), the first novel Lardo’s cheeky enough to have his continuing characters put into production.

Beneath the glitzy, bitchy ensemble work is an old-fashioned whodunit complete with a locked room and an unbreakable alibi. Talk about something for everyone.