cover image The Emerald Cat Killer

The Emerald Cat Killer

Richard A. Lupoff, Minotaur, $24.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-312-64813-8

Lupoff's eighth and possibly final mystery featuring insurance investigator Hobart Lindsey and Berkeley, Calif., homicide detective Marvia Plum (after 1997's The Radio Red Killer) will please series fans more than first-timers. Lindsey's old boss from the Special Projects Unit of International Surety calls him out of retirement to deal with a plagiarism case. The widow of murdered crime writer Gordon Simmons claims that a hard-boiled novel, The Emerald Cat, by an unknown author is a thinly disguised version of an unpublished manuscript that had been on Simmons's PC—and that whoever stole it is also responsible for his death. Since the first chapter reveals the killer's identity, the main interest centers on the relationship between Lindsey and his former lover, Plum, with whom his inquiries bring him into contact. Some may find Lupoff's efforts to present the killer's grim circumstances unconvincing, but his glimpses into the sordid side of book publishing ring true. (Sept.)