The Hot Pink Farmhouse: A Berger & Mitry Mystery

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9780312280154: The Hot Pink Farmhouse: A Berger & Mitry Mystery

Mitch stammered, stunned. It had just hit him. He had not happened upon just any old wino. The man standing down in the bin was Dorset's most famous and reclusive resident, Wendell Frye, the man who had single-handedly redefined modern American sculpture...His towering, breathtaking scrap-metal sculptures graced plazas and parks throughout the world, his name echoing alongside that of Alexander Calder, Isamu Noguchi ad Ellsworth Kelly...If the art critic from Mitch's paper somehow got a chance to meet him, she would, well, plotz.. And here Mitch was standing in a dumpster talking to him about Abbott and Costello.

Transplanted New York film critic Mitch Berger is discovering a whole new world in the idyllic atmosphere of wealthy Dorset, Connecticut, not the least of which is his new love. That's Resident State Trooper Desiree Mitry, beautiful, bright, and strong-minded. Des has transferred out of her position as the highest-ranking black woman in the State Police Homicide department to give more time to the art for which she has a sure talent.

Shortly after Mitch's encounter with "Hangtown" Frye in the town dump, his new friend suffers the worst blow of his life - his beloved daughter "Moose" is killed when her sister's car, which she was driving, explodes. It's very soon clear that the explosion was no accident, and Des, as one more familiar with the community than the state cop in charge, takes an advisory part in the investigation.

As one of the very few Dorset citizens with whom Frye will have any truck, Mitch is involved in two directions - as a good friend willing to help as he can around the dilapidated farmhouse that is Frye's ancestral home, and as the devoted, if unlikely, lover of the police officer unofficially but very actively on the case.

Meanwhile, the old town is coming to a boil over the question of a new public elementary school, one that will be built with contributions from a developer with nothing but good wishes for the education of the local children, and coincidentally a program of healthful outdoor living for those who can afford the homes he will build on the old school property. Hangtown and Mitch are among the dispute's dubious. In a climax that is a realistic and frightening version of a tour through an amusement park "haunted" house, the film critic and his policewoman love come close to tragedy.

Readers met these "wonderfully drawn characters [Susan Isaacs] and "best buddy team to come along in years" [Jeffrey Deaver] in Handler's first book of the series, The Cold Blue Blood. Here Handler carries on their sharp, inimitable and lively adventures to further delight his readers.

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From the Inside Flap:

Praise for David Handler's mystery novels

The Hot Pink Farmhouse:
"The author's skill at depicting everyone from young children to aging adults and investing his characters with delightful quirks or grievous flaws makes this a superior read. The romance between Des and Mitch, an ill-kept secret in tiny Dorset, and bits of film trivia woven smoothly into the narrative add zest."--Publishers Weekly

"The style in this book is smooth with tightly woven scenes and believable dialogue. Hangtown Frye is a uniquely lovable character...who stays true to himself throughout the whole novel. I recommend this book if you are looking for an enthralling read."--Mystery News

The Cold Blue Blood:
:"The Cold Blue Blood is the beginning of what looks to be a swell series. Berger and Mitry are wonderfully drawn characters, and the author has depicted Connecticut so splendidly it seems the most fascinating state in the Union. If I had a hat, I'd take it off to David Handler."
--Susan Isaacs, author of Compromising Positions and Long Time No See

"This book is a true delight. Chock full of wry observation and propelled by a compelling plot, The Cold Blue Blood is classic Handler. As for characters Berger and Mitry...they better come back and visit again; they're the best buddy team to come along in years."
--Jeffery Deaver, author of The Blue Nowhere and The Empty Chair

"Mitch is a terrific character, full of passion and sensitivity...The New York color is perfectly rendered, as is the Connecticut salt. Here's hoping for many more stories of Des and Mitch."
--Booklist

"Can a tough African-American cop with a soft spot for feral cats find happiness with a nice Jewish boy who says he does his best work in the dark? Here's hoping that Handler...explores this question in more first-rate puzzlers."--Kirkus Reviews

"Definitely an odd-couple team we look forward to seeing more of in future installments of this delightful new series."-Denver Post

From the Back Cover:

In A Loony Town Where Anything Goes...
So much for the peace and quiet New York film critic Mitch Berger expected to find in his antique carriage house overlooking Long Island Sound. Nothing can shelter him from the goings-on in nearby Dorset. A violent death in a speeding Porsche...an attempted suicide by the school superintendent...and dirty politics are about to propel Mitch out of the shadows into a starring role. And then there's his new love, resident state trooper Desiree Mitry...

A Loony Killer Is On The Loose
Des has transferred out of her position as the highest-ranking black woman in the state police homicide department to give more time to the art for which she has a sure talent. But as she soon learns, Dorset's bucolic exterior hides some ugly secrets. The femme fatale daughter of a famous local sculptor is killed in a car explosion that makes tabloid headlines. Now Des is on the case, saddled with a pushy former colleague, and reaching out to Mitch for an extra pair of eyes-and arms-in a case that threatens to tear the town apart...

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