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Block, Lawrence - A Long Line of Dead Men
(Morrow US 1994 HC/DJ 275:-)

This Matt Scudder novel by the blessedly prolific Block is right up to his usual standards. It takes a while to set up the situation (someone in an exclusive male dinner club that meets once a year is killing off the members at an alarming rate), but once it's established, Matt gets his man by his usual patient attention to detail and sheer doggedness. He almost misses him, however (giving rise to a matchless last line), and the punishment meted out to the villain is a highly unusual variant on the kind Scudder thinks up when the law, as sometimes happens, is helpless to act. His ex-call girl companion, Elaine, is her usual comforting self, and there's a brilliant portrait of an offbeat New York lawyer, obviously modeled on William Kunstler, who specializes in representing the underdog. The scene where the lawyer and suspicious ex-cop Scudder get to know and like each other is alone worth the price of the book. Those who become impatient with Scudder's determined pursuit of AA meetings--and it's possible to do so--should note his publisher's assertion that he now has a strong following not only among mystery buffs but also in "the recovery community." First Edition
Block, Lawrence - Burglars can't be Choosers
(Dutton US 1995 HC/DJ 120:-)

Bernie Rhodenbarr is a burglar and a sleuth. He ia almost 35 years old, but opening locks and stealing things is the only trade he knows.
While drinking in one of his favorite bars, Bernie meets a stranger who offers him $5,000 to steal a box from the home of J. Francis Flaxford. The stranger seems to know about Bernie's many accomplishments as a burglar. Bernie has his reservations but he accepts a $1,000 advance and enters Flaxford's apartment when it is supposed to be empty. Almost immediately he is surprised by two cops. When one of them searches the apartment, he finds Flaxford murdered in the back bedroom. Bernie races from the apartment, convinced he has been set up by the stranger in the bar.
Block, Lawrence - Eight Million Ways to Die
(Avon Books US 1993 PB 100:-)

A young prostitute who wanted to leave the business is found slain, driving New York private investigator and struggling alcoholic Matt Scudder to delve into the dirty secrets of her past and put his own future in jeopardy.

This copy has been signed by Lawrence Block.
Carcaterra, Lorenzo - Apaches
(Ballantine US 1997 HC/DJ 100:-)

A gang of renegade cops invalided out of the force for minor injuries decide to take justice into their own hands. Together they fight crime in the violent world of drug trafficking in New York. This novel is based on accounts by retired New York policemen. First Edition.
Carcaterra, Lorenzo - Chasers
(Ballantine US 2007 HC/DJ 80:-)

CHASERS heralds the return of the Apaches - a cadre of controversial former NYPD cops first introduced in Carcaterra's previous novel, APACHES. In this sequel, set three years later, the surviving members of the team reunite to continue their relentless battle against crime. Their new adventure is kick-started by the machine-gun murder of innocent bystanders in a Manhattan restaurant, one of whom happens to be Boomer's neice. Boomer, Dead Eye and Reverend Jim reunite to hunt down the Colombian drug cartel responsible. Joining the group in this mission are three new Apaches: Ash, a wounded female Hispanic cop with a speciality in arson investigations; Quincy, an HIV-positive recruit who specialises in forensics; and the ironically-named Buttercup, a retired police dog who is a gold-shield detective, highly decorated for her skills at sniffing out illegal drugs. It's the Apaches versus the drug lords in an all-out New York City street war. First Edition.
Carcaterra, Lorenzo - Gangster
(Ballantine US 2001 HC/DJ 80:-)

The powerful Sleepers was the book that marked Carcaterra out as a crime writer of distinction, and this complex, ambitious novel is a more than worthy successor. The book will be more ammunition to those who claim that books and shows such as The Sopranos are defaming Italian Americans, presenting them as godfathers and goodfellas, but Carcaterra knows his territory and paints it with a vividness that sweeps away such criticism. Gangster is a truly epic vision of one man's life. Young Angelo Vestieri has decided to leave behind him his Italian past and his father, moving to the New World to build a career in early 20th century New York. Ruthlessly dispensing violence, he moves from soldier to capo with betrayal as his stock in trade but always aware of the virtues of relationships. When Angelo takes Gabe, an orphan boy, under his protection, he has made a rod for his own back: he will have to choose between his love for the boy, or his desire to live by the brutal rules that are so much part of his life. First Edition.
Carcaterra, Lorenzo - Paradise City
(Ballantine US 2004 HC/DJ 80:-)

As a child, Giancarlo Lo Manto lived on Manhattan's mean streets, encountering all sorts of mischief until, at 14, he moved with his family to a small town in Italy. Now a homicide and narcotics cop in Naples, Lo Manto returns to New York when his teenage niece, Paula, a foreign exchange student, disappears. Arranging for a temporary assignment to the NYPD, Lo Manto is fortunate to be partnered with Jennifer Fabini, a 10-year veteran on the force. "She knows the streets and I know the enemy," he tells the captain. But just who is that enemy? Signs point to the Camorra, the infamous Naples crime syndicate, whose influence carries all the way to the States. First Edition.
Cornwell, Patricia - Hornet's Nest
(Little Brown UK 1997 HC/DJ 80:-)

Patricia Cornwell turns from forensics to police procedures in her latest novel, Hornet's Nest. This book is less a thriller than a character study of the main characters: Judy Hammer, chief of police in Charlotte, North Carolina; Hammer's deputy, Virginia West; and Andy Brazil, a young reporter assigned to ride with the police as they go about their jobs.
Cornwell, Patricia - Southern Cross
(Little Brown UK 1999 HC/DJ 80:-)

In their first appearance (Hornet's Nest, 1997), Chief Judy Hammer, Deputy Virginia West, and reporter-turned-rookie-cop Andy Brazil battled a serial killer in Charlotte, North Carolina. Now, in Patricia Cornwell's Southern Cross, the trio are dispatched to Richmond, Virginia--via an NIJ (National Institute of Justice) grant--to quell the growing gang problem and modernize the beleaguered Richmond PD.

They bring with them a sophisticated computer program for tracking criminal activity and a tried-and-true methodology for reforming Richmond's men and women in blue. Unfortunately, Hammer, Brazil, and West could not have been prepared for the resentment they would confront... or the bizarre cast of characters they would find upon their arrival: Lelia Ehrhart--wealthy (and nosey) chair of the Blue Ribbon Crime Commission--whose heavy European accent renders her English dangerously hilarious; Butner "Bubba" Flunk IV--tobacco industry worker, gun collector, and UFO aficionado; Smoke--the sociopathic leader of the Pikes gang; and Weed Gardener--14-year-old painter turned master graffiti artist.
Count, E.W. - Hundred Percent Squad
(Warner US-90 HC/DJ 80:-)

Count gathered material for this tense, sizzling police procedural by pounding the turf with a real-life NYPD detective squad that claims a 100% record in solving homicide cases (at least for three years running). Manhattan police lieutenant Andy Flynn gets on the wrong side of a ruthless, well-connected cocaine lord with pull on the City Council. Soon Flynn has a transfer hanging over his head; he's given just weeks to solve a series of brutal, drug-related murders. His squad, an "ethnic rogues' gallery," includes a pot-bellied "prince of polyester" and a half-black, half-Latino loner, yet the characterizations rise above stereotypes. Flynn's girlfriend, Lauren, an Upper West Sider with a civic conscience, supports his excessive dedication to his job, unlike his ex-wife, who threw him out. With nonstop suspense, this one hits you like heat rising from the asphalt. Count sympathetically portrays New York's diverse neighborhoods, police work and the ravages of the drug epidemic on participants and bystanders.
Cray, David - Bad Lawyer
(Carroll & Graf US 2001 HC/DJ 120:-)

Sid Kaplan is a fallen-from-grace Manhattan lawyer whose career self- destructed after drugs and booze chased him all the way to the bottom of the barrel. After a long battle to become sober and regain his self-respect, he's eking out a living in a crummy one-man office when a big case comes his way. The client, Priscilla Sweet, is accused of murdering her husband, a drug dealer whose bloody death is not in dispute. But Priscilla's motives are. Is she an abuse victim who pulled the trigger in self-defense or a crafty villain who killed her husband for money? Sid's not sure, but the prospect of a juicy trial sure to garner headlines (and new clients) makes him put his misgivings aside and take the case. With the help of Julia and Caleb, the two friends and associates who stuck by him during the bad times, he sets out to clear Priscilla and win back his reputation. But the more he learns, the more he wonders whether Priscilla is all she says she is. When his best friends are killed, he digs even deeper.

This copy has been signed by David Cray!
Cruz Smith, Martin - Gorky Park
(Collins UK 1981 HC/DJ 50:-)

A triple murder in a Moscow amusement center: three corpses found frozen in the snow, faces and fingers missing. Chief homicide investigator Arkady Renko is brilliant, sensitive, honest, and cynical about everything except his profession. To identify the victims and uncover the truth, he must battle the KGB, FBI, and New York police as he performs the impossible--and tries to stay alive doing it.
Davis, Lindsey - Ode to a Banker
(Century UK 2000 HC/DJ 80:-)

In the long, hot Roman summer of AD 74, Falco, private informer and spare-time poet, gives a reading for his family and friends. Things get out of hand as usual. The event is taken over by Aurelius Chrysippus, a wealthy Greek banker and patron to a group of struggling writers, who offers to publish Falco’s work. A visit to the Chrysippus scriptorium implicates Falco in a gruesome literary murder, so when commissioned to investigate, Falco is forced to accept.

Lindsey Davis’s twelfth novel wittily explores Roman publishing and banking, taking us from the jealousies of authorship and the mire of patronage to the darker financial world, where default can have fatal consequences…
Davis, Lindsey - One Virgin too many
(Century UK 1999 HC/DJ 80:-)


A frightened child approaches Roman informer Falco pleading for help. Nobody believes Gaia’s story that a relation wants to kill her – and neither does he. Beset by his own family troubles, by his new responsibilities as Procurator of the Sacred Poultry, and by the continuing search for a new partner, Falco turns her away.

Immediately he regrets it. Gaia has been selected as the new Vestal Virgin, and when she disappears Falco is officially asked to investigate. Finding Gaia is then a race against time, ending in Falco’s most terrifying exploit yet…
Emerson, Earl - Dead Horse Paint Company
(Morrow US 1997 HC/DJ 100:-)

Nine people died in the fire that destroyed the Dead Horse Paint Company--a massive warehouse with a stuffed horse as its mascot. Now, several years later, people are still dying because of it. As in all the rest of Earl Emerson's superior, scrupulously crafted books about firefighter Mac Fontana, fire itself is one of the main characters: the way it ebbs and roars, the way it fools people into thinking they've beaten it. Fontana, now the fire chief in the small Washington state town of Staircase, was one of the survivors of Dead Horse. When an old boss (and enemy) is found burned to death in the trunk of his car in Mac's vicinity, all the fear and anger surrounding the killer blaze implodes out of the past. First Edition
Emerson, Earl - Deception Pass
(Ballantine US 1997 HC/DJ 50:-)

What dire secret could make Lainie Smith, Seattle's well- heeled answer to Mother Teresa, vulnerable to blackmail? Whatever it is, it's something she's been paying $2,000 a week to keep quiet--and something she doesn't want to share with her lawyer, Kathy Birchfield, or Kathy's husband, private eye Thomas Black. Thomas doesn't insist on knowing Lainie's secret, but as he gets deeper into the case- -trailing the two men who pick up the latest two grand, searching the lair he's tracked one of them to, dispensing his trademark similes (one craven suspect has ``an alibi prepared like a frozen dinner in the freezer'')--he can hardly help finding out what it is. First Edition.
Kienzle, William X - Greatest Evil
(Andrews McMeel US 1998 HC/DJ 60:-)

Father Koesler is pondering his imminent retirement. But even as he looks toward an uncertain future, circumstances force him to investigate a crime from the past, a murder that only now has come to light. The revelation is revealed after his successor, Father Zachary Tully, clashes with Bishop Vincent Delvecchio. A longtime colleague of the powerful bishop's, Koesler searches his memory for insight into his superior's demanding nature . . . only to discover long-buried secrets involving a devout family haunted by tragedy--and shocking truths about sin, salvation, and the greatest evil. . . .
Margolin, Phillip - After Dark
(Doubleday US 1995 HC/DJ 80:-)

The first woman ever hired by legendary defense lawyer Matthew Reynolds, Tracy Cavanaugh cuts her teeth on a horrifying crime: the car-bomb murder of Oregon Supreme Court Justice Robert Griffen. Reynold's client - and the chief suspect - is none other than the icy but celebrated prosecutor Abigail Griffen, the Justice's estranged wife. Tracy's research plunges her into a web of betrayal and revenge, of secret deals and hidden passions. At the heart of the case lies a twisted truth - and when the verdict comes in, she will discover that nothing is as it seems...after dark.
McBain, Ed - Big Bad City
(Simon & Schuster US 1999 HC/DJ 80:-)

McBain has been writing his 87th Precinct stories since 1956, but Isola's cops and crooks remain as fresh as rain. In the 49th book in the series, detectives Steve Carella and Artie Brown are searching for the killer of a nun. An autopsy reveals that the strangled woman had breast implants and an unconventional background, moving between her pious, charitable order and a freewheeling secular life. Other oddities are plaguing the 87th, too. The hood who recently murdered Carella's father is walking around loose because an inept prosecutor blew the case. Now the thug is stalking Carella, and Carella's sister wants to marry the prosecutor.
McBain, Ed - Eight Black Horses
Arbor House US 1985 HC/DJ 125:-

Finding a dead body was not unusual for an autumn night in the 87th Precinct. But this young woman’s body was naked—and potentially related to the series of odd missives received at the station house. All signs point to the Deaf Man’s return, this time with a plot more diabolical than even the jaded policemen could imagine. He’s been sending them mysterious pictures of police equipment: nightsticks, helmets, black horses, and more. But what did they mean?

Detective Steve Carella would be one of the first to find out, but only after he discovered that the Deaf Man was impersonating him, which leads to more violence. Now, Carella and his fellow officers must face down the Deaf Man in a lethal confrontation: a confrontation more surprising, shocking, and explosive than anything the cops of the 87th Precinct have ever experienced.
McBain, Ed - Fat Ollie's Book
(Simon & Schuster US 2002 HC/DJ 120:-)

The disreputable, bigoted, dirty-mouthed but oddly likable Ollie Weeks, a walk-on in Ed McBain's popular 87th Precinct series, gets a book of his own here: not just the mystery of who killed a popular mayoral candidate a few days before the election, but the one Ollie, improbably, is writing. Pity the schmuck who lifts Ollie's only copy of his manuscript from his car--not only is its author in desperate need of what he's sure will be his ticket to fame and fortune, but the befuddled miscreant somehow believes that the caper recounted in Ollie's book is a real one, and that he's in possession of a blueprint for the crime that will allow him to cash in on it. This is a fast, funny read from the master--like a valentine to his fans while they wait for his next big one.

This copy has been signed by Ed McBain!
McBain, Ed - Fiddlers
(Otto Penzler US 2005 HC/DJ 120:-)

Ed McBain's latest installment in the 87th Precinct series finds the detectives stumped by a serial killer who doesn't fit the profile. A blind violinist taking a smoke break, a cosmetics sales rep cooking an omelet in her own kitchen, a college professor trudging home from class, a priest contemplating retirement in the rectory garden, an old woman out walking her dog--these are the seemingly random targets shot twice in the face. But most serial killers don't use guns. Most serial killers don't strike five times in two weeks. And most serial killers' prey share something more than being over fifty years of age. Now it falls to Detective Steve Carella and his colleagues in the 87th Precinct to find out what-or whom-the victims had in common before another body is found.
McBain, Ed - Frumious Bandersnatch
(Simon & Schuster US 2004 HC/DJ 120:-)

Tamar Valparaiso, would-be hip-hop diva, is poised on the precipice of stardom. Her new video is set for release, and her recording company has rented a yacht for a chic launch party. Tamar is performing a live version of her rape-fantasy video when two armed intruders snatch her and escape on a small speedboat. Steve Carella and Cotton Hawes of the 87th Precinct catch the call. There are dozens of eyewitnesses, but the kidnappers leave no trace. Even though kidnappings are usually the FBI's purview, Tamar's promoter coerces the feds into keeping Carella and Hawes on the case.

This copy has been signed by Ed McBain!
McBain, Ed - Hail to the Chief
Random House US 1973 HC/DJ 125:-

It’s January. The weather is cold—and it’s about to feel even colder. Detectives Carella and Kling of the 87th Precinct stand at the edge of their jurisdiction staring down into a ditch filled with six naked, murdered bodies. But who put them there and why?

As Carella and Kling dive deeper into the mystery of the six, they find themselves walking into a deadly battle among three teenage gangs: the Hispanic Death’s Heads, the African American Scarlet Avengers, and a white gang known as “the clique.” Racing to put together the clues before a criminal mastermind and a full-blown gang war tear the city apart, Carella and Kling need to use every trick in their arsenal.
McBain, Ed - Hark!
(Simon & Schuster US 2004 HC/DJ 80:-)

Recovered from his wounds, the Deaf Man is bent on revenge and determined to rub the collective face of the 87th in the dust of his brilliance in McBain's latest zany romp. After striking first at the woman who betrayed him, the Deaf Man turns to taunting the 87th with cryptic hand-delivered messages (quotes from Shakespeare or anagrams) that are interpreted or misinterpreted with hilarious results. The saga of Fat Ollie's book, which began in Fat Ollie's Book (2003) and continued in The Frumious Bandersnatch (2004), resumes and promises to have a long life of its own. There are a lot of soap opera flourishes to the personal relationships of the 87th crew, and McBain milks them for humor and pathos. Steve Carella faces paying for the double wedding of his mother and his sister. Bert Kling knows his beautiful surgeon girlfriend is cheating on him. Cotton Hawes and his glamorous TV news girlfriend, Honey Blair, are under attack, but which one is the real target? It's vintage McBain, complete with pitch-perfect dialogue, subplots that thrust various precinct cops into the spotlight, a pace that encourages the reader to forget about dinner or a good night's rest, and a plot that teases and tantalizes from start to finish.
McBain, Ed - Kiss
(Morrow US-92 HC/DJ 150:-)

McBain's new 87th Precinct installment, less ambitiously multi-plotted than some recent entries, has just two very different narratives, delivered in alternating chunks. Plot One, picking up where Widows (1991) left off, is the trial of the psychopath-punk who killed Detective Steve Carella's old baker-father in a brutal holdup. Although not completely convincing in some of its courtroom details, and a bit crude in its attempt to echo recent news events involving racial tension, this is solid, plain, streetwise McBain--familiar but effective in dramatizing law-and-order issues. Plot Two is a sex-triangle melodrama, initially intriguing but ultimately irritating and artificial in the made-for-cable-TV (not HBO) manner. Someone is trying to kill rich, beautiful Emma Bowles. Is it her stockbroker- husband? And can she trust the handsome private eye her husband has hired to ``protect'' her?
McBain, Ed - Lightning
(Hamish Hamilton UK-84 HC/DJ 80:-)

When a young woman is found dead in a park, the 87th Precinct believes they are investigating an average homicide—until more bodies turn up. After putting together a series of clues—the victims are all top collegiate runners—the department begins their search for a serial killer.
McBain, Ed - Money Money Money
(Simon & Schuster US 2001 HC/DJ 80:-)

Steve Carella, Meyer Meyer, and Fat Ollie Weeks having been working the 87th Precinct for more than 40 years, but they're still the top dicks in town for devotees of Ed McBain's absorbing police procedurals.
When a pretty, red-haired, ex-military pilot is killed, the boys in blue blunder around for a few chapters before they unmask her secret life as a drug courier. By then the burglar who broke into Cass Ridley's apartment and stole the "tip" she got for her last run has already tried to spend one of the $100 bills from her stash, attracting the attention of the Secret Service. The "superbill" is phony, and by the time Carella and his crew uncover the international counterfeit ring behind it, McBain has notched up the action with a terrorist plot to bomb Clarendon (read Carnegie) Hall, where an eminent Israeli violinist is performing.
McBain, Ed - Nocturne
(Time Warner US 1997 HC/DJ 150:-)

Fans of McBain's 87th Precinct series will find this forty-eighth installment as taut and intricate as its predecessors. But there are also some surprises: this time around, McBain displays a rather impish sense of whimsy. Investigating the murder of a once-famous concert pianist, Detectives Carella and Hawes encounter an odd clue that puts them in mind of a certain Alfred Hitchcock movie. Those readers who know McBain's film credits will enjoy the running in-joke (no one can remember who wrote the movie); others may be confused. On the other hand, another case involves the brutal murder of a prostitute, and McBain describes her last moments in graphic sexual language that may shock some readers. The 87th Precinct novels have never been pretty, but this one is more explicit than most. As always, the appeal of the novel is in its small details, and in the way McBain constructs a mystery that is at once baffling and entirely rational. An excellent (though, in some ways, quite different) addition to the series.
McBain, Ed - The Last Dance
(Simon & Schuster US 2000 HC/DJ 80:-)

The 50th novel of the 87th Precinct is one of the best, a melancholy, acerbic paean to lifeAand deathAin the fictional big city of Isola. The story begins with death: detectives Meyer Meyer and Steve Carella are questioning Cynthia Keating, whose father lies lifeless in a nearby bed. Cynthia claims she hasn't touched Andrew Hale since she discovered his body, but the cops suspect she's lying: for one thing, the corpse's feet are blue from postmortem lividity, a sign of death by hanging. The detectives' doubts turn darker when, after Cynthia admits she found her father hanged and, in shock, laid him down, the M.E. rules that Hale was murdered. Carella asks stoolie Danny Gimp to listen to the drums on the street for any hints of the killer. Danny calls back for a meet but is gunned down before Carella's eyes by two shooters, who escape.
McBain, Ed - Tricks
(Arbor House US 1987 HC/DJ 150:-)

All the cops from the 87th precinct are featured in Tricks , the 39th novel in this series that began in 1956 with Cop Hater. This new book, a multi-crime Halloween story, involves pieces of a man's body found all over the city; a gang of "children" robbing liquor stores and killing the owners; Genero facing sudden death and coming away a hero; Eileen Burke confronting the demons that have been chasing her since she was raped and almost murdered; and more. Women, always major players in McBain's novels, are treated with courtesy and depth of understanding in this utterly fascinating, sometimes shocking, crime story by the undisputed master of the police procedural.
Pelecanos, George - Drama City
(Orion UK 2005 HC/DJ 80:-)

Lorenzo Brown is fresh out of the clink. The former drug enforcer has vowed to go straight and found himself a job as an officer for the Humane Society. He patrols downtown DC looking for ill-treated pets - but in the course of his day repeatedly comes face-to-face with his old life. Rachel Lopez is an attractive young probation officer. Brown is one of her clients but also fast becoming one of her friends - perhaps he is one that can be saved. Nigel Johnson is a smart young drug-dealer on the make. He has plans to make a lot of money AND stay alive to spend it. He already runs his neighbourhood but doesn't realise that he stands on the brink of a vicious turf war which could destroy him.

From these basic players, Pelecanos weaves and amazing new novel, one that defines a generation of black, Hispanic and white Americans fighting - literally - for their lives.
Pileggi, Nicholas - Wiseguy
(Simon & Schuster US 1985 HC/DJ 100:-)

Growing up in Brooklyn in the 1950s Henry Hill aspired "to be a gangsterto be a wise guy." This book chronicles Hill's criminal successes beginning with his being a gofer for neighborhood mobster to his part in the 1978 $6-million Lufthansa Airlines robbery. Smuggling, hijacking, union racketeering, credit card fraud, robbery, bribery, drug dealing, prison, marriage, and assorted girlfriends take up most of Hill's time and this story. The author may have faithfully portrayed his subject but neither Hill nor any of his activities provokes much interest. The result is a plodding, episodic account which would have made a better magazine article than book. Hill's career ends with his becoming the ultimate wise guy as an informer under the Federal Witness Program. First Edition.
Rankin, Ian - Naming of the Dead
(Orion UK 2006 HC/DJ 80:-)

A murder has been committed - but as the victim was a rapist, recently released from prison, no one is too concerned about the crime. That is, until Detective Inspector John Rebus and DS Siobhan Clarke uncover evidence that a serial killer is on the loose...



When Rebus also starts looking into the apparent suicide of an MP, he is abruptly warned off the case, not least because the G8 leaders have gathered in Scotland, and Rebus's bosses want him well out of the way. But Rebus has never been one to stick to the rules, and when Siobhan has a very personal reason for hunting down a riot cop, it looks as though both Rebus and Clarke may be up against their own side...
Reynolds, Quentin - Police Headquarters
(Cassel & Co UK 1956 HC/DJ 50:-)

To document the many activities which cross the blotter of New York City's police headquarters, Quentin Reynolds has closely tailed the career of Frank Phillips, who has worn his uniform well and is the most decorated active policeman on an undermanned force of 20,000. A working cop, Phillips- who looks like a ""choir boy"" has a quiet, quick intelligence, the courage which is a commonplace in this profession, and its patience- and he rose quickly from rookie cop to First Grade Detective and up, was instrumental in the final arrest of the elusive Legs Diamond.
Ross, Kate - A Broken Vessel
(Viking US 1994 HC/DJ 50:-)

Ross's second mystery about Julian Kestrel, the Regency dandy, teams him with Sally Stokes, a cockney prostitute who helps him solve a clever and devilish murder. One night, as is her custom, Sally steals a handkerchief from each of her three clients. In one, she finds a letter from a woman being held against her will and begging for help. A concerned and frightened Sally runs into her brother, a reformed pickpocket and Kestrel's valet. Soon she and Kestrel are matching wits to find the owner of the handkerchief and locate the desperate woman. Through dogged legwork they locate the three men, each from a different strata of society but each of whom has something serious to hide relating to a young heiress, the Reclamation Society, and the seamy underground life of London's Haymarket District.
Ross, Kate - Whom the Gods Love
(Viking US 1995 HC/DJ 50:-)

Julian Kestrel, a debonair man-about-town in early Victorian London, is asked to investigate the murder of Alexander Falkland. The charming aristocratic victim's distraught father turns to Kestrel when it seems that the Bow Street Runners have failed to turn up any clues. Nothing has been taken from the elaborate house, no one could have entered unnoticed in the middle of one of Falkland's famous parties, and everyone professes to have been on the best of terms with the deceased. As Kestrel delves into the case, he begins to find many people without adequate alibis, including Alexander's lovely widow. He is baffled by the solid wall of silence that he encounters; intrigued by the protective behavior of the servants; and, finally, starts to piece together Falkland's true character.
Tosches, Nick - King of the Jews
(CCC US 2005 HC/DJ 50:-)

Tosches' alleged biography of Jewish gangster Arnold Rothstein certainly takes an interesting approach. After opening with Rothstein's death in 1928, Tosches embarks on a lengthy linguistic study of the Bible's change from "gods" to "God," then proceeds to debunk the myth that all European Jews came to the New World fleeing pogroms, pausing to explore early U.S.-Russian relationships, before even depicting Rothstein's grandparents' arrival in Manhattan in 1852. Along the way, he includes transcripts of a hearing regarding Rothstein's contested will and a first-person rant that starts by saying the Holocaust is inappropriately named. It's either deep, deep background or . . . what? Is Rothstein a Christ figure? A holy sinner? Was Jazz Age New York paradise? Is contemporary New York hell? Two-thirds of the way through, the book does start to be more "about" Rothstein. Writing in the first person again, Tosches says he's given up on the "tricks" of his trade, but all writing involves trickery; he's just opened a new bag. His book is sometimes boring, sometimes brilliant, often irritating. Readers looking for a gangster tale will be sorely disappointed--readers who want to know what it's like to live inside Tosches' head will hit the jackpot.
White, Robin - Siberian Light
(Delacorte Press US 1997 HC/DJ 80:-)

Three years ago, Gregori Nowek--a geologist whose criticisms of Soviet oil-drilling got him banished to frozen Irkutsk--was elected mayor of his new town with the slogan ``Can I Do Any Worse?'' Still mourning wife Nina, who died in a plane crash, he has failed to make peace with his teenage daughter, Galena, or with the gleefully corrupt world of the new Russia. One spring day, Nowek's asked by his Moscow superior, Arkady Volsky, to investigate the murder of Andrei Ryzkhov, a wealthy local liaison with AmerRus, the American-Russian cooperative drilling for ``Siberian light'' crude oil in the Tunguska fields. Not only was Ryzkhov's throat cut, but two of the city's police militamen were similarly slaughtered. Nowek's inquiries are discouraged by ex-KGB Major Kaznin and by the coolly cruel Irkjutsk prosecutor, Gromov, who worries that a scandal would disturb the flow of bribes coming from AmerRus. Nowek perseveres, his geologist's eye uncovering clues that Major Kaznin ``missed.'' These lead him to Tunguska, site of the AmerRus drilling base, where, unknown to him, his daughter has been abducted by a lecherously lethal American AmerRus worker, Paul Decker. Tunguska is also home to an endangered species of Siberian tigers under the watchful eye of Dr. Anna Vereskaya, now a murder suspect. Nowek falls in love, but, predictably, his struggle to prove Anna innocent, rescue his daughter from her loathesome paramour, and deal with AmerRus's secret reason for exploiting Siberia--all bring forth resources of character that Nowek wasn't aware he had.
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