cover image Shotgun Lullaby

Shotgun Lullaby

Steve Ulfelder. Minotaur, $25.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-02808-2

At the start of Edgar-finalist Ulfelder’s outstanding third Conway Sax mystery (after 2012’s The Whole Lie), the Framingham, Mass., auto mechanic and troubleshooter, who owes his recovery from alcohol addiction to an AA group known as the Barnburners, helps yet another fellow Barnburner in need, Gus Biletnikov. In the parking lot of a Marlborough strip mall, Sax breaks the elbow of a crook who cheated Gus on a car purchase. Back in Framingham, Sax and Gus learn that Gus was initially believed to have been one of the three victims of a gunman who marched into the halfway house where Gus lived and opened fire. Had the killer who shot Brian Weller in Gus’s room mistaken Brian for Gus? In a search for answers, Sax crosses the paths of a local mob boss, Biletnikov’s wealthy father, and a smooth-talking con man. Ulfelder has constructed the persona of his hard-edged but sympathetic lead carefully enough to ensure a long series run. Agent: Janet Reid, FinePrint Literary Management. (May)