cover image Act of God: A John Cuddy Mystery

Act of God: A John Cuddy Mystery

Jeremiah F. Healy, J. F. Healy. Pocket Books, $20 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-671-79558-0

In his latest outing, Healy's ( Shallow Graves ) Boston PI Cuddy is coping with the aches and pains of age and accumulated injuries, the vagaries of his romance with assistant D.A. Nancy Meagher and two oddball clients interested in splitting the same case. After Pearl Rivkind's elderly husband--furniture mogul ``Honest Abe''--was murdered, his secretary, Darbra Proft, took a New Jersey vacation from which only her suitcase returned. Pearl wants Cuddy to solve Abe's murder, while Darbra's obnoxious brother hopes to prove his sister is dead. Cuddy reluctantly accepts the dual case, discovering for starters that no one is grieving for the missing Darbra. Assorted friends and relations prove both suspicious and uncooperative, motives abound and another corpse turns up before solutions do. Along with his nose for crime, Cuddy demonstrates--with his customary terse wit and pungent observations on human nature--that he is aging very nicely indeed. Healy has smoothed out his protagonist's edges over the years, while romance seems to have gentrified him. Author and detective prove once again that hard-boiled methods and solid legwork get the job done. (May)