Title: Skid Row Serenade
Author: J.S. Cook
Length: Novel (210 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (Aug 14 2015)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts
Blurb: In the tradition of novel noir, nothing is ever quite as it seems.
Novelist and war hero Tony Leonard sees private investigator Edwin Malory being mugged outside a seaman’s mission in downtown Los Angeles, so he takes him home and gives him clean clothes and access to a hot shower. It doesn’t take him long to discover Malory was hired by wealthy industrialist Linton Vanderbilt Stirling, the father of Tony’s estranged wife, Janet. The reason for this is simple: Tony’s father-in-law suspects him of drinking away his daughter’s personal fortune.
On a whim, Tony drops in on Janet one night and finds her naked, dead, and tied up, her skull beaten in. Horrified, Tony flees the scene, knowing that as her husband, he is the number one suspect in the killing. He sees only one way out. He needs to fake his own death.
And who better to send his “suicide note” to than Edwin Malory.
Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6739
Review: Skid Row Serenade is a unique mystery suspense with a historical backdrop and an old-time private detective feel. I got the Dick Casey vibe from the story. I could see the men in their hats and long coats with cigarettes and their booze.
The star of the show–oops– I mean book Is Tony Leonard. He is a man with many secrets. He is a bisexual war hero married to a rich socialite. Their marriage is open. She has a place of her own on her father’s estate where she entertains many suitors.
Tony has a drinking problem and is a novelist. He goes to the local mission and helps fellow men down on their luck. He meets Ed but soon finds out that Ed isn’t what he seems. One evening Tony pays Janet a visit to find her brutally murdered.
Ed is a private detective investigating Tony on behalf of his estranged wife’s father. He finds himself involved in a big twisty mystery.
I never really connected with either character. I would have liked to have known more about how Tony met Janet, more details about his captivity with the Germans and how his sister-in-law got involved with her husband that also was one of his captors. It just didn’t set so well with me he was able to visit Johan as a brother-in-law knowing his past and what he had done to him.
Having said that, this was a very intriguing mystery with lots of twists and turns. It is not an easy one to guess who the murderer is.
If you like a hard to figure crime drama, mystery and suspense with a touch of romance and light off the page man-sex this is for you.
* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *