Keeper of the Flame

Jack Batten. Dundurn (IPS, U.S. dist.; UTP, Canadian dist.), $16.99 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-1459733220
This is the sixth mystery (after Straight No Chaser) in prolific author Batten's series featuring the wily, one-named Crang, a lawyer and sleuth who thrives on taking on unorthodox cases. The action begins when Roger Carnale, the manager of the rising star rap performer Flame, hires Crang to deal with a blackmailing minister. Rev. Alton Douglas wants $8 million to return the handwritten lyrics to songs Flame wrote as a youth that are so offensive they will ruin his career if they come to light. Crang soon makes a deal with the reverend to get the papers back, but then the minister is found dead in his office. Crang follows the trail from the church of Heaven's Philosophers—a front for illegal activities—all over Toronto to get to the bottom of the blackmail scheme and murder. Batten fills the book with a colorful cast of characters: Crang himself; his smart-talking assistant, Gloria; his author girlfriend, Annie; his friend Maury's girlfriend Sal, who dabbles in acting in porn films; and various others who help or hinder Crang along the way. Batten's sardonic humor adds fun to this fast-paced whodunit that will keep readers guessing until the final showdown. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/04/2016
Release date: 04/01/2016
Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-4597-3324-4
Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-4597-3323-7
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