cover image The Silver Chariot Killer: A Hobart Lindsey Mystery

The Silver Chariot Killer: A Hobart Lindsey Mystery

Richard A. Lupoff. St. Martin's Press, $21.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-312-14736-5

Lupoff, a prolific writer, captures lots of old-fashioned values in his series featuring insurance investigator Hobart Lindsey. In a narrative sense, these values include solid research, straightforward prose and a narrative engine that chugs along with reassuring strength. Without his former teammate, Berkeley cop Marvia Plum (she married someone else in The Cover Girl Killer, 1995), Lindsey here leaves Denver, where he's deputy director of the Special Projects Unit of International Surety, for frigid New York City to investigate the murder of one of the unit's own. Cletus Berry has been gunned down in an alley, along with a smalltime hoodlum. Determined to find out why, Lindsey becomes a thorn in the side of the NYPD--particularly the shapely side of a tough detective named Marcie Sokolov. Berry was an African American married to an Italian Jew, and they produced a fascinating 10-year-old daughter whose interest in history and computers are most helpful to Lindsey as he works his way through a plot that deftly blends a valuable Roman relic, a WWII art-theft scheme and contemporary New York politics. Lupoff doesn't spend many words describing Lindsey, but the dead man's brother gives a good picture: ""You come on like Caspar Milquetoast, but inside that mild-mannered exterior lurks one crazy operator."" He needs both sides of his character to solve this rich and rewarding story. (Oct.)