cover image Yellow Dog Party: A Thomas Black Mystery

Yellow Dog Party: A Thomas Black Mystery

Earl Emerson. William Morrow & Company, $19 (287pp) ISBN 978-0-688-09635-9

The hard-boiled, wisecracking detective with a heart of gold is alive (just barely) and not well at all when we first meet him in this clever, well-paced mystery. Hired by four area businessmen to locate the women of their dreams, Seattle private eye Thomas Black (last seen in Deviant Behavior ) soon finds himself up a tree, nearly lynched, by three thugs in Miss Piggy masks. What began as a routine--if somewhat odd--case immediately becomes for Black a cause. Determined to ferret out the identities of the hangmen to settle his own vendetta while on a case tracking down the ``dream woman'' who got him into trouble with them in the first place, he uncovers long-buried secrets that quickly lead to murder. Emerson, a lieutenant with the Seattle fire department, doesn't miss a beat in carving out his detective's niche in the genre: from the stunning sidekick--Black is much too proud to admit his love for her--to the missing woman's abandoned daughters--whom he takes in and comes to adore--we see a man who is far more than just some remote sleuth out to get a job done. (May)