cover image Family Jewels

Family Jewels

Stuart Woods. Putnam, $27.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-399-17469-8

At the start of bestseller Woods’s breezy 37th Stone Barrington novel (after Scandalous Behavior), wealthy divorcee Carrie Fiske hires the New York City detective turned attorney to dissuade her ex-husband, Harvey Biggers, from stalking her and to remove Biggers from her will. Stone tasks his associate, former boxer Fred Flicker, with the first assignment, and he accepts Carrie’s invitation for a weekend of business and pleasure in the Hamptons so that he might undertake the second. Stone revises the document, but barely has time to sample his lobster salad before discovering a dead body with ties to Biggers. He’s soon embroiled in a mystery that involves a priceless object with cultural and historical significance. Tony trappings, colorful characters, and a magnificent McGuffin provide ample distraction from the occasional dangling plot thread and the implausible ease and frequency with which Stone lands lucrative cases and beds beautiful women. Dry-witted dialogue keeps the tone light and drives this glossy, modern take on the classic detective story. [em]Author tour. Agent: Anne Sibbald, Janklow & Nesbit. (Apr.) [/em]