Reduced Circumstances: A Frank Cole Mystery

Vincent H. O'Neil, Author . St. Martin's Minotaur/Dunne $22.95 (211p) ISBN 978-0-312-36966-8

A t the start of this appealing sequel to O'Neil's Malice Domestic Contest–winning debut, Murder in Exile (2006), Frank Cole, now working as a Florida taxi dispatcher, is on the trail of a con artist who was last seen in a Midnight Taxi cab. Swanky Atlanta PI Curtis Winslow, two fast-talking guys who claim to be bondsmen and a big-eyed waif of indeterminate age are also looking for the mysterious young man, known as Dennis Taylor or Dennis Sharp. Dennis turns up dead, yet some of his pursuers keep asking questions, like whether he was carrying anything when he hopped the cab. Cole is a captivating narrator, the kind readers will follow anywhere; Winslow is equally engaging, and even the ineffectual local cops are charming in their bumbling way. In fact, all the characters are well-drawn, except for Cole's girlfriend, whose occasional appearances distract. At times, too, the relaxed pacing borders on the lugubrious. (July)

Reviewed on: 05/07/2007
Release date: 07/01/2007
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