Protocol for Murder

Paul Nathan, Author
Paul Nathan, Author Permanent Press (NY) $22 (176p) ISBN 978-1-877946-46-2
Reviewed on: 07/04/1994
Release date: 07/01/1994
In his first novel, Nathan, who writes PW 's Rights column, introduces a likable, witty amateur detective who could be a model of his kind for the '90s. Bert Swain is a divorced, middle-aged writer with an understated sense of humor--the sort of fellow who is polite but never stuffy. When offered a job in New York directing publicity for the Krinsky Research Center, a major medical research facility, the Florida-based Bert jumps at the chance to get back to the city he loves and be nearer his 11-year-old daughter, who lives with her mother in Toronto. His first task is to handle the abrupt decamping of a prominent scientist; his second, to help find missing researcher Faith Frawley, is not as easy. He learns that Faith may have been seeing someone from the Center, but his only clue is a bottle of Tullamore Dew Irish whiskey in the teetotaling woman's apartment. Suspecting murder, Bert contacts the police, and while working with them must toe a fine line to keep his job at a company harboring a killer even while helping to rout out the miscreant. Aided by a new lady love, who is the Center's comptroller, genteel Bert manages to solve a few crimes, avoid violent death and save both the reputation of the Center and his job. Delighted readers will welcome the next promised Bert Swain adventure. Mystery Guild selection. (July)