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You're most likely to be familiar with the work of Marvin H. Albert via the film versions of his Tony Rome novels, starring Frank Sinatra. Well, if you thought Rome was kind of an odd duck, living on his boat and only accepting the occasional job, the Stone Angel, Pete [Pierre-Ange] Sawyer, has him beat. Sawyer lives in France, where Albert himself moved, and solves only higher-end crimes, with the aid of Fritz Donhoff, an elegant but tough old German.

This entry in the series sees them tackle an old kidnapping case. Helen Marsh was just ten when she was taken from boarding school and two of her fingers were sent to her wealthy father, who didn't want to pay their ransom demands. Now, eight years later, she's recognized the voice of one of her kidnappers, coming from an older man at the Ritz, and wants revenge. Sawyer and Donhoff identify the man as Benjamin Hulvane, or so they think. The more they learn the more unsavory a character he appears and everyone who knows his history starts turning up dead. For all the distinctiveness of his heroes, Mr. Albert knows the chops of the genre and serves up a classic private eye take with a tasty European flavor.


Grade: (B+)


See also:

Private Eyes
Marvin Albert Links:

    -WIKIPEDIA: Marvin Albert
    -FILMOGRAPHY: Marvin H. Albert (IMDB)
    -OBIT: Marvin H. Albert, 73, an Author Of Mysteries and Biographies (WILLIAM GRIMES, March 31, 1996, NY Times)
    -Marvin Albert [1924-1996] (Stop You're Killing Me)
    -PROFILE: Gold Medal Corner (Bill Crider)

Book-related and General Links: