cover image The Blue Kingfisher

The Blue Kingfisher

Erica Wright. Polis, $26 (320p) ISBN 978-1-947993-26-6

Fascinating and fully developed characters lift Wright’s intriguing third Kat Stone mystery (after 2015’s The Granite Moth). Kat, a former NYPD undercover officer turned PI, is out for a walk along the Hudson River one morning when she spots a body atop the Jeffrey’s Point Lighthouse below the George Washington Bridge. She recognizes the victim as her apartment building’s maintenance man, Tambo Campion. The police rule the death a suicide, but Stone doubts this assessment. She soon learns that Campion, one of the few Frenchmen in her predominantly Dominican neighborhood, was a kingfisher, someone who finds jobs for immigrants. But that’s not the only way he augmented his income, leaving Stone to muse: “This investigation had become a process of reconstructing a personality rather than a murder. I thought, if I could learn enough about this man I’d seen every week but never really knew, I could find the killer.” Complicating her task is a local drug lord with a grudge against her. Wright’s vividly told tale is studded with wry wit. Agent: Penn Whaling, Ann Rittenberg Literary Agency. (Oct.)