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Edgar Award Winner: Best First Novel (1996)

Holland Taylor, the likeable P.I. in this new series, is a former St. Paul, MN Homicide detective.  He quit the force after his wife and daughter were killed by a drunk driver.  Now that driver is out of
prison and when he's found dead, Taylor is a logical suspect.  Then when he sets out to clear his name
he uncovers an elaborate series of plots and counter plots, involving Minnesotta politics, police wrong doing, bookies & bettors, lesbians, etc.  It all gets to be a little much, but a first time novelist can surely be forgiven for pulling out all the stops; after all, who knows if there'll be a second book in which to use leftover plotlines.

The characterization of Taylor is a little uneven, as Housewright struggles with balancing hard-boiled conventions with totally unnecessary 90's political correctness, but I enjoyed the book, especially the unusual Twin Cities setting and I look forward to more from Mr. Housewright.


Grade: (B-)


Book-related and General Links:
    -Mystery Net Awards Page
    -Edgar Award: Best First Novel

    -African American Mystery Page
    -Black Street Fiction
    -Crime Writers (David King)
    -Dangerous Dames: A Timeline of Some of the Major Female Eyes (Thrilling Detectives)
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    -Film Noir and Pulp Fiction
    -A Guide to Classic Mystery and Detection
    -Gumshoe Site
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    -Hardboiled Heaven
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    -Martin's Film Noir Page
    -Mysterious Home Page The Online Mystery Network
    -Mystery Net Awards Page
    -No Night Sweats
    -RARA-AVIS : mailing list devoted to the discussion of hardboiled (and noir) fiction
    -The Reader's Corner presents  Female Sleuths
    -Thrilling Detective Website
    -Twists, Slugs and Roscoes: A Glossary of Hardboiled Slang
    -Women of Mystery (Bookaholic)