cover image Kaleidoscope


Darryl Wimberley, . . Toby, $24.95 (267pp) ISBN 978-1-59264-244-1

Hapless, handsome Jack Romaine, a small-time gambler and drinker in 1929 Cincinnati, tracks a mysterious woman who's the key to a hidden fortune in Wimberley's evocative mystery. Hauled before gangster Oliver Bladehorn, Jack is given a simple chore that will cancel his debts: pick up a woman being released from prison who will lead him to the prize in cash and stocks. On a trail rife with cruelty, violence and murder, he finds himself in Tampa, Fla., at Kaleidoscope, a “beddy” where carnies rest between gigs and a place for people who don't fit in anywhere else. Jack goes to work as a “brodie” (a gopher) in the hopes of getting a lead, while trying to avoid the brutal Arno Becker, who's after the same fortune. Best known for his Florida-based Bear Raines series (Pepperfish Keys , etc.), Wimberley invests both Jack and the carnie freaks with distinct personalities and common dignity. This vividly captured subculture has its own grotesque charm and beauty. (Sept. )