Mystery J. L. Abramo Clutching at Straws

ISBN 13: 9780312308490

Clutching at Straws

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9780312308490: Clutching at Straws

Lefty Wright breaks into Judge Chancellor’s empty house easy as pie. He has no clue about why he is being paid such a handsome sum for doing it. But the job description hadn’t mentioned the corpse of a prominent criminal court judge lying halfway under the bed.

Charged with murder, Lefty's SOS zooms over the phone wires and reaches one Jake Diamond, Private Investigator, whom readers met in Abramo’s Private Eye Contest winner, Catching Water in a Net. It’s easy to understand why the unprepossessing guy with grease spots on his only two neckties. Jake is a love. His unexpected skills as an investigator and his assortment of multi-talented friends make him one of the luckiest private investigators West of the Rockies, and maybe East too. He's got Joey Russo - an influential mob boss to most people but a substitute father-figure (with a soupcon of Jewish mother) to Jake. His secretary Darlene runs the office, and does everything but tie his shoes. And no one else has as eager a gofer as Vinnie Strings, so-called because his real name, Stradivarius, is too hard for some to say. And then the reconciliation of Jake and his ex-wife Sally is coming along very nicely indeed.

Jake takes the case, but it soon leads down a series of side paths that sprawl out from Lefty’s prison cell like the tentatcles of an octopus. What’s the real story of the kidnap of the prominent lawyer’s feckless son? What does the policeman named Katt know that he doesn’t want to share with the prisoner’s lawyer? What happened to the Rolex? Did Freddie Cash know ex-con Vic Vagoda? Why was Judge Chancellor so set against Ryder’s candidacy? Where did Vigoda get the two grand? If it all pertained to Lefty’s case, Jake would be justified in looking for the answers. But does it?

Although he encounters more than one homicide on the way to untangling these tangled affairs, Jake Diamond in his second appearance manages not only to be a demon detective, but one who is charming, human and delightfully funny as well.

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About the Author:

Joseph Abramo is a longtime educator, theater producer and director, a stage and screen actor and an arts journalist. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Abramo now lives in Columbia, South Carolina. His first novel, Catching Water in a Net, was w inner of the 2000 St. Martin’s Press PWA Award for the year's best first Private Eye novel.

From Publishers Weekly:

A worthy successor to Catching Water in a Net (2000), Abramo's second in the San Francisco-based Jake Diamond PI series is a clever and well-crafted detective novel, gritty enough to satisfy hard-boiled readers but not so dark that it will put off more traditional mystery fans. Hired to break into a local judge's house and extract money and papers from a wall safe, Lefty Wright, a small-time thief, stumbles over the judge's corpse and is immediately surrounded by policemen. Wright later calls Diamond from prison, where he awaits trial for murder, and convinces the PI of his innocence. As Diamond proceeds with his investigation, the police, the governor and especially prosecuting attorney and DA candidate Lowell Ryder all make it very clear that they don't want him involved. When Wright is killed "trying to escape" en route to court, things get really interesting. Scrambling to make a case, Diamond trails crooked cops and even resurrects his dormant acting career to appear in a bit part in a movie to get close to a key suspect. Throughout the book, Diamond is reading Dumas's The Count of Monte Cristo, which parallels his current case.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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