cover image Boxing the Octopus: A Cape Weathers Investigation

Boxing the Octopus: A Cape Weathers Investigation

Tim Maleeny. Poisoned Pen, $15.99 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-1-4642-1139-3

Early in Maleeny’s zany fourth mystery featuring San Francisco PI Cape Weathers (after 2008’s Greasing the Piñata), Hank, the driver of an armored car loaded with cash, is waiting in his vehicle on a pier for his partner to show up. Then a forklift drives onto the pier followed by a UPS truck. The forklift raises the armored car and its driver flees. A moment later, the truck crashes into the forklift, causing the car to topple into the bay. By the time the car is pulled from the drink, Hank and the money are gone. The missing man’s girlfriend asks Cape to find Hank and prove his innocence. Soon Cape is up to his ears in international plots and evil schemes, his “moral compass spinning like a weathervane.” Among the disparate characters he encounters are a mad doctor, greedy industrialists, Hong Kong gangsters, and a pirate. Oscar, a sentient octopus, plays an important role in the frenetic finale. Maleeny provides some fast-paced, cheeky fun, along with a splash of social consciousness. Readers will hope they won’t have to wait 11 years for the next installment. (Oct.)