Epitaph for a Loser

James A. Doyle, Author Walker & Company $17.95 (201p) ISBN 978-0-8027-5713-5
In this contrived, lackluster mystery by the author of Deadly Connections , ex-cop turned private eye Paul Broder helps his ex-brother-in-law, compulsive gambler Norm Colquist, escape from the mob. When the corpse of Norm's partner Elinor Garcia turns up in his apartment, he is accused of the murder. After Norm himself is found dead, his sister, Margaret (Broder's ex-wife, with whom he is still in love) asks Broder to clear his name. She seems to be the only one interested in proving Norm's innocence, however; Broder is warned off the case by Margaret's accountant husband, a police detective, Garcia's relatives and members of the local mob. Broder soon discovers that Norm's connection to the mob was more than just a gambling debt: he and Garcia were involved with the owner of a chain of launderettes in a money-laundering scheme. Despite attempts on his life and police and mob intimidation, Broder follows the clues deeper into Tampa's underworld, where two warring factions battle for leadership. This routine story has all of the cliches of the P.I. genre: crooked cops, tough-guy dialogue, underworld infighting and gratuitous violence. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/03/1988
Release date: 11/01/1988
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