Crooked

Brian M. Wiprud, Author . Dell $6.99 (285p) ISBN 978-0-440-24312-0

Wiprud's latest caper chronicles a gaggle of wacky characters in pursuit of a stolen painting in Manhattan, centering on shady man-about-town Nicholas Palihnic, brother of the taxidermist hero of Wiprud's previous mysteries, Pipsqueak and Stuffed . Hired by an insurance company to hunt down Trampoline Nude, 1972 , Nicholas scurries through the city, bumping into a string of increasingly wild friends and foes, including a mysterious Chinese man in a porkpie hat; a tough-talking art dealer named Beatrice Belarus; and Nicholas's old friend Nicasia Grieg, grieving over her lover, Barney, a thief she believes was eaten by crocodiles in Costa Rica (but who is actually alive and well in Hoboken). Wiprud's engaging, hard-boiled style draws readers into both the art world and the underworld of New York, and his colorful cast keeps things moving with wit to spare—especially the plucky lead. Some pieces of this tale hang loose—most notably Barney's odd relationship with a childhood mentor—but the journey is a thrilling one, with an ending even the most astute readers won't see coming. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 07/17/2006
Release date: 07/01/2006
Open Ebook - 185 pages - 978-0-440-33621-1
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