Jim Messenger is a CPA who hates his job, loves jazz, and can't forget a woman he has seen eating at the Harmony Café. She goes by the name of Janet Mitchell, and when he introduces himself, her only comment is, "It won't do you any good." When she commits suicide, Messenger is driven to find out why. Her name is only the first of the lies he uncovers. In "historic Beulah," Nevada, secrets coil like rattlesnakes ready to strike, and suffering lies like a suffocating blanket over lives put on hold. Starting with one slender clue, Messenger embarks on a search for the truth that becomes a rite of passage. By the end, lives have been changed, a horrible murder brought to light, and a quiet, little town irrevocably torn apart.
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Bill Pronzini's novel, Snowbound, received the Grand Prix de la Littérature Policière as the best crime novel published in France in 1988. A Wasteland of Strangers was nominated for best crime novel of 1997 by both the Mystery Writers of America and the International Crime Writers Association; in addition to six Edgar Award nominations, Pronzini has received three Shamus Awards, two for best novel, and the Lifetime Achievement Award. He lives in northern California with his wife, the crime novelist Marcia Muller.From Booklist:
Jim Messenger, a lonely, divorced San Francisco accountant who eats dinner every evening in the Harmony Cafe, notices at a table another lonely soul, Janet Mitchell, and attempts to strike up a conversation with her. She politely rejects him. When she stops coming into the cafe, Messenger is curious, then saddened when he learns of her suicide. The police tell him Mitchell didn't really exist--no family, no friends, no identification. Armed with little more than midlife angst and an overdue library book from Beulah, Nevada, Messenger is determined to learn the story of the lonely woman who couldn't stand life anymore. He discovers she was really Ann Burgess Roebuck, and virtually everyone in Beulah is glad she's dead, having unofficially declared her guilty of the murders of her husband and her eight-year-old daughter. Messenger is determined to clear his late soulmate's name, despite threats and opposition from most of the townsfolk. Pronzini, best known for his "Nameless" detective series, is a master storyteller and has created in Messenger an empathetic, brave, and honorable everyman. His growth through the course of his investigation is subtle and memorable. Readers will not forget him. Outstanding character study wrapped in a damn good mystery. Wes Lukowsky
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Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged. Bookseller Inventory # GOR004605056
Book Description Canongate, UK, 2001. Soft cover. Book Condition: Very Good. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 005208