Family Business: A Novel of Detection

Michael Z. Lewin, Author
Michael Z. Lewin, Author Foul Play Press $20 (175p) ISBN 978-0-88150-348-7
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Does an out-of-place bottle of dishwashing liquid indicate marital disorder? Perhaps not, but it's enough to bring a worried housewife to call upon the Lunghi family, a sprawling and entertaining, if implausible, sleuthing clan working in the historic English town of Bath. The author, whose two previous series (featuring, respectively, PI Albert Samson and Lt. Leroy Powder) are set in his native Indianapolis, now lives in England, from where he unleashes the three generations of Lunghis. They are a real pleasure. Included are Angelo and Rosetta, siblings locked in combat over computerizing the family business; their older brother, Salvatore (seen only occasionally); Angelo's wife, Gina, and her younger brother, David; a couple of schoolkids; and Mama and the Old Man, the grandfather who founded the business. The cases here involve a model who has heard that one of the Lunghis is circulating her photo at pubs and asking questions, and the housewife whose concerns about the soap unlock all sorts of odd coincidences in her heretofore ordinary household. Lewin's droll humor is more often quaint than outright funny, but his Lunghis are full of splendid promise. (Nov.)
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