Trick Question

Tony Dunbar, Author, Anthony P. Dunbar, Author Putnam Publishing Group $22.95 (230p) ISBN 978-0-399-14184-3
New Orleans lawyer Tubby Dubonnet investigates a seemingly no-win murder case in his third thoroughly entertaining adventure (after Crooked Man and City of Beads). Cletus Busters, medical laboratory janitor and sometime voodoo guru, gets caught holding the frozen head of Dr. Whitney Valentine. The noted research pathologist was stabbed to death, then stashed in the lab freezer. Busters's court-appointed attorney drinks away his preparation time and begs Tubby to take over. Tubby finds plenty of other suspects. Valentine cheated on his wife, and she sought solace with a combative chiropractor. Valentine's arrogant colleague, Randolph Swincter, seems edgy about the victim's research. Did it involve the ""check-ins,"" bodies brought to the lab for investigation of mysterious fatal illnesses? Even Tubby's client in an unrelated case, female boxer Denise DiMaggio, comes under suspicion by meeting Swincter at a bar, although she proves herself good company when a guy with a stocking over his face attacks the nosy lawyer. Dunbar's easy style keeps the mystery moving, with amusing peeks into Tubby's chaotic life (he's divorced, his ex-wife wants him to be pals with her new man and his unwed daughter is pregnant) and frequent visits to New Orleans restaurants, where Tubby is on intimate terms with the menus. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 12/30/1996
Release date: 01/01/1997
Mass Market Paperbound - 224 pages - 978-0-425-16092-3
Hardcover - 325 pages - 978-0-7862-1086-2
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