cover image The Girl with Kaleidoscope Eyes: A Stewart Hoag Mystery

The Girl with Kaleidoscope Eyes: A Stewart Hoag Mystery

David Handler. Morrow, $14.99 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-0-06-241284-3

Set in 1992, Handler’s fun, clever ninth Stewart Hoag mystery (after 1997’s The Man Who Loved Women to Death) marks a welcome return for the endearing ghostwriter sleuth. His New York literary agent, Alberta Pryce, guarantees Stewart a $100,000 payday for ghosting the story of what a mysterious one-hit literary wonder has been doing for the past 22 years. Richard Aintree penned Not Far from Here, a “coming-of-age masterpiece” considered on a par with Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye; but after his wife, a Pulitzer Prize–winning poet, took her own life, Richard vanished from the face of the earth. Alberta reveals that one of Richard’s daughters, Monette, has received a letter ostensibly from her father, addressed to her by a nickname that only he and her sister knew. The possibility that Richard might resurface sends Stewart to Monette’s L.A. home, where he eventually becomes involved in a murder investigation. Handler brilliantly combines wry humor with solid detection. Whodunit fans will hope for a shorter interval before book 10. Agent: Dominick Abel, Dominick Abel Literary Agency. (Aug.)