Vanity Fair

John M. Daniel, Author . Poisoned Pen $24.95 (250p) ISBN 978-1-59058-322-7

In Daniel's engaging second Guy Mallon whodunit (after 2005's The Poet's Funeral ), an unscrupulous businessman, Fritz Marburger, offers Mallon, a smalltime poetry publisher and bookseller based in Santa Barbara, Calif., a chance to branch out. Marburger is willing to front the money to enable Mallon to publish a roman à clef by Sweet Lorraine Evans, a celebrity jazz singer. Despite the misgivings of his longtime manager and lover, Carol Murphy, Mallon succumbs to temptation and soon finds himself in bed with assorted unsavory characters. When the book deal implodes and a dead body turns up in the torched ruins of Mallon's warehouse, the publisher must clear his name by conducting an independent inquiry. Mallon is a sympathetic, flawed protagonist, though the solution is too obvious to satisfy those who want mental exercise from their mysteries. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 08/21/2006
Release date: 10/01/2006
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 392 pages - 978-1-59058-323-4
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