An Incident at Bloodtide: A Mongo Mystery

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9780892964642: An Incident at Bloodtide: A Mongo Mystery
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Mongo and brother Garth return from an evening sail on the Hudson River to find an unwelcome guest in Garth's home - Sacra Silver, self-styled ceremonial magician and old boyfriend of Garth's wife, folksinger Mary Tree. Now that Mary's burgeoning musical career has returned her name to the record charts, Silver has decided to "retake his woman."
Garth, not one to suffer fools gladly, throws Silver out the window. To Mary's distress - she knows from experience that bad things happen to people who defy the lanky sorcerer. Mongo can see that Silver's black magic act is a phony, but Mary is convinced - and terrified. When hideous practical jokes and ugly pranks begin to disrupt their lives, Mongo and Garth realize that the mystical Silver is making nasty things happen right here on the material plane.
And then Garth's old friend Tom Blaine, the local riverkeeper and environmental cop, is found dead in the Hudson - horribly hacked by the massive propellers of an oil tanker. During Mongo's investigation of the death, he learns that Blaine had found that the vessels of a major shipping company have been dumping residual oil into the Hudson, then filling their empty tanks with fresh water, to be sold to Middle Eastern governments for private profit.
What's the connection between a loopy warlock and a corporate raid on public waters? Mongo learns the truth in a thrilling solo midnight raid on an oil tanker hell-bent for the Atlantic Ocean.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Gleefully subverting most of the rules of mystery fiction, Chesbro ( Dark Chant in a Crimson Key ) once again produces an extraordinary adventure for his singularly implausible (albeit surpassingly entertaining) dwarf detective, former circus star turned criminologist/sleuth and media darling, Mongo Frederickson. Mongo is visiting his brother Garth and his famous folksinger wife, Mary, when Sacra, Mary's former lover, arrives to claim Mary as his own. Mary is plainly terrified and believes Sacra is a witch. Because Mongo's former loves also include a practitioner of the black arts, he takes Mary's fears seriously. Meanwhile, out on the Hudson River, not far from Garth's house, a shipping company is dumping oil into the water and loading mysterious cargo for export overseas. When an environmentalist friend tries to obtain evidence, his body is ripped apart by propeller blades. With only one real suspect, the author is forced to weld Garth's domestic woes to the wider environmental concerns of the Hudson River. This kind of minimalist plot gambit could easily misfire, but Mongo and his cohorts form such a ruthlessly cunning, delightfully oddball crew that the reader remains engrossed. The action heats up, bodies are battered and the plucky Mongo gets to pilot a tanker through murky waters.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews:

The 11th adventure in which Mongo Frederickson (Dark Chant in a Crimson Key, etc.) uses superior intellect, circus tricks, karate, magic, and pretentious metaphysical folderol to foil various scourges of Western Civilization--here, the loathsome Sacra Silver, who's intent on breaking up the marriage of Mongo's brother and sister-in-law, illegally polluting the Hudson by dumping chemicals from his daddy's fleet of tankers, and making a few zillion on the side by selling parched Kuwaitis shiploads of the (contaminated) Hudson. When both the Coast Guard and the police skirt responsibility for the filth--as well as the propeller- chopped body recently found in the river--Mongo sallies forth to waylay a tanker headed for the Tappan Zee. Despite a concussion, he succeeds--only to find his brother wired up to a homemade electric chair and his sister-in-law forced to commit mayhem to save him. Mongo, a comic-book hero sans pictures, again blathers on about witches, the supernatural, and his personal philosophy (``Love, my friend, is the greatest mystery of all'')--all done in a manner destined to please the converted. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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