cover image A Cry of Shadows

A Cry of Shadows

Edward Gorman. St. Martin's Press, $14.95 (144pp) ISBN 978-0-312-04290-5

Gorman's short, undemanding mystery features detective Jack Dwyer (previously seen in The Autumn Dead ), who is hired by one of the owners of Avanti, a chic restaurant/nightclub in an unnamed American city, to deal with ``some problems'' ostensibly caused by residents of a nearby homeless shelter. Imperious Richard Coburn charges Dwyer to figure out how anyone could have sneaked into his heavily protected restaurant. Before Dwyer can tackle the task, he is fired by another of the restaurant's backers, the vulpine Tom Anton. Several days later, Coburn is murdered, and his gorgeous, none-too-grieving widow re-hires Dwyer to locate the killer. Lots of people have a motive: Coburn was a womanizer and a snob. The restaurant staff hated him for being abusive and demanding; Anton hated him for sleeping with his teenaged daughter; the woman who runs the homeless shelter hated him for jilting her. Although Dwyer sporadically spouts half-baked sociological pronouncements, his methodical investigation and the novel's believable characters and situations yield a satisfying tale. (July)