cover image The Highly Effective Detective Plays the Fool

The Highly Effective Detective Plays the Fool

Richard Yancey, Author . Minotaur $24.99 (261p) ISBN 978-0-312

At the start of Yancey's amusing third mystery to feature the endearingly incompetent “Highly Effective Detective” (after 2008's The Highly Effective Detective Goes to the Dogs ), a suspicious wife, Katrina Bates, hires PI Teddy Ruzak to investigate her husband. Ruzak's unorthodox methods prompt Bates to fire him (“I didn't hire you to confront him about infidelity; I hired you to confirm the infidelity”). Later, a representative of the wayward spouse approaches Ruzak about obtaining his file on the Bates case. When his ex-client disappears, Ruzak is the only one to suspect foul play. Meanwhile, the manager of his apartment building in Knoxville, Tenn., is demanding that Ruzak get rid of his pet dog, and the PI licensing commission charges him with “practicing private detection without a license.” Ruzak's changing the name on his door to the “Research & Analysis Group” hasn't fooled anyone. The appealing if bizarre narrative voice carries the action briskly along. (Mar.)