cover image The Gift Horse's Mouth: A Jimmy Flannery Mystery

The Gift Horse's Mouth: A Jimmy Flannery Mystery

R. Wright Campbell. Pocket Books, $17.95 (198pp) ISBN 978-0-671-67586-8

In the seventh entry in Campbell's splendid series featuring Chicago sewer inspector Jimmy Flannery (the Edgar-winning The Junkyard Dog ), the part-time detective is moved by incipient parenthood to rea c h at last for the committeeman's job in the 27th ward. As an established cog in the city's dying Democratic machine, he is obliged to respond when party head Ray Carrigan asks him to look into the strange death of his retired secretary. Goldie Hanrahan was not only a power broker within the party, she was also something of a hot number, whose entanglements included a whole list of old-time pols, not the least of whom was Flannery's father. The death is somehow tied to the birth of Goldie's illegitimate son some 40 years earlier, and Flannery soon begins uncovering secrets a lot of people would rather leave buried. As always Campbell's dialogue and ambience are perfect. Flannery and his familiar supporting cast are among the most consistently entertaining figures in the genre. (Dec.)