Man Who Miss P

Ansel Adams, Author, Harold Adams, Author Mysterious Press $16.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-89296-252-5
Wry wit, intriguing characters and skillfully spare writing add up to another winner for Adams, in his eighth Depression-era mystery. Carl Wilcox, reformed drunk and leading misfit of Corden, S.D., and his teenage nephew, Hank, are left in charge of the Corden Hotel (his parents don't think the 38-year-old is responsible enough to manage alone) during the 10-year reunion of Corden High's only winning football team. With the hotel filled with ex-players and hunters, Wilcox spends his time chasing ``the hired girl,'' a widow with ``fine hips'' and a mysterious past. The real hunt begins, however, when the quarterback, Heart Turner, is found dead in the shower. The murder weapon: a slingshot. Because he's ``the best murder man in South Dakota,'' Wilcox is asked by the mayor to find the killer. He soon uncovers a long-held secret: after a dance one night, Turner and three other players gang-raped the coach's daughter, Bunny Titus, who later committed suicide. The list of suspects, which includes the entire team and practically every other male in Corden, gets shorter when another player dies of a slingshot wound, and Wilcox must find the connection between Bunny and the murderer before he kills again. Wilcox is an extremely likable character, especially since he doesn't take himself or the disapproving townspeople too seriously in this evocative and entertaining mystery. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/30/1989
Release date: 05/01/1989
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