And Then There Were Ten: A Stokes Moran Mystery

Neil McGaughey, Author Scribner Book Company $20.5 (255p) ISBN 978-0-684-19760-9
With this second Stokes Moran adventure, following Otherwise Known as Murder, mystery critic McGaughey pays homage to the genre and the writers who make it look easy. Kyle Malachi, who, as Stokes Moran, is a syndicated mystery reviewer, is reluctantly drawn into a case of great delicacy by his no-nonsense fiancee, Manhattan literary agent, Lee Holland. Lee's 80-year-old mentor, Izzy Cohen, agent to the superstars, has himself a situation: a pornographic film made by his lover years earlier and involving men who subsequently became high-profile celebrities has been stolen. Can blackmail be far behind? Reluctantly, Kyle, a nice, sensitive guy, agrees to find the tape and the culprit. While he and Lee interview the 10 possible victims, one of whom may also be the thief, Kyle-as-Stokes works on his list of the 10 best mystery novels ever written, allowing the proficiency of the great detectives he considers to contrast amusingly with his own tentative sleuthing. Readers are likely, however, to wish for snappier, less self-conscious writing in the next Moran escapade. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/03/1995
Release date: 07/01/1995
Genre: Fiction
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