cover image Madman on a Drum: A McKenzie Novel

Madman on a Drum: A McKenzie Novel

David Housewright, Author . St. Martin's Minotaur $24.95 (272p

Hate, revenge and old-fashioned greed propel Edgar-winner Housewright's stellar fifth mystery to feature former St. Paul, Minn., cop Rushmore McKenzie (after 2007's Dead Boyfriends ). When the older grade school–age daughter of McKenzie's old friend, St. Paul homicide chief Bobby Dunston, is kidnapped on her way home from school, the unlicensed PI gets on the case. Soon McKenzie is hurtling headlong through the Twin Cities' meanest streets with a $50,000 price on his head. Housewright's chivalric noir hero never fails to charm, whether mourning a St. Paul that's lost much of its colorful, if shady, past or busting a bestial dogfight entrepreneur out in the chilly countryside. Against a realistic Minnesota backdrop, this homage to Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer raises cutting questions about crime and punishment and today's price of friendship and loyalty. Of course, McKenzie knows it's all about money, but Housewright makes it so fresh and real it hurts. (May)