Nameless Dame: Murder on the Russian River

Bart Schneider. Soft Skull (PGW, dist.), $15.95 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-59376-435-7
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Schneider’s second Augie Boyer mystery (after 2008’s The Man in the Blizzard) takes the marijuana-smoking Midwestern PI out of Minneapolis and off his drug of choice only to deposit him in the pot-saturated heart of Northern California’s Russian River Valley. Soon after Augie arrives at the “off-the-grid” cottage of his onetime assistant, Blossom, and her former police detective husband, Bobby Sabbatini, Ruthie Rosenberg, a party girl and drug user, is found murdered. While the killing dampens the area’s optimistic New Age spirit, Augie is more interested in Blossom’s friend Quince, an enticing and mercurial ex-con. Bobby, meanwhile, tries to keep the approaching opening of his “poetry karaoke bar,” Ginsberg’s Galley, on track. Rather than hackneyed drug humor, Schneider focuses on showing a community that, under Bobby’s spell, has fallen in love with poetry. His charming and original characters should ensure returning readers for any future Augie Boyer outings. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/23/2012
Release date: 02/01/2012
Open Ebook - 305 pages - 978-1-59376-478-4
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