cover image Saratoga Strongbox: 1a Charlie Bradshaw Mystery

Saratoga Strongbox: 1a Charlie Bradshaw Mystery

Stephen Dobyns, Sephen Dobyns. Viking Books, $21.95 (208pp) ISBN 978-0-670-87692-1

The versatile and prolific Dobyns's solidly entertaining Charlie Bradshaw mystery series reaches its 10th volume (Saratoga Fleshpot, 1995, etc.) in this amusing and farcical caper. As usual, Vic Plotz, friend of the Saratoga PI and always on the lookout for an easy buck, assumes the burden of narrating this tale, in which he gets himself and Charlie into a fine mess involving an ambitious mobster, an old-time money man and his bumbling, love-struck son, a couple of deliciously evil muscle men and a stripper who wears nothing but a snake. When Felix Weber approaches Vic with an opportunity to earn an easy $2000 (all he has to do is pick up a package in Montreal), Vic can't resist, even though he knows he can't do it. But he does know someone who can and will--for only $1000, leaving Vic with $1000 for doing nothing. Instead, this little scam sets off a ludicrous and hilarious chain of events that ensnarls Vic and Charlie in desperate troubles. The answer to their problems lies in a locked strongbox that seemingly holds the key to everyone else's problems as well. A climactic game of ""hot potato"" engineered by Charlie provides a wonderful capstone to this slapstick tale. (July)