The Man Who Wasn’t All There

David Handler. Severn, $28.99 (208p) ISBN 978-0-7278-9248-5
In 1993, things are looking up for Stuart “Hoagy” Hoag in Edgar winner Handler’s so-so 12th mystery featuring author Hoagy and his intelligent basset hound, Lulu (after 2019’s The Man in the White Linen Suit). A decade earlier, Hoagy achieved commercial and critical success with his debut novel, but writer’s block followed, as did the end of his marriage to film star Merilee Nash due to his cocaine addiction. Now, he and Merilee are reconciling, and he’s made progress on a new book set in 1970s New York City while working out of Merilee’s home in Lyme, Conn., while she’s abroad. Then Hoagy gets a visit from Austin Talmadge, an auxiliary state police officer looking for Merilee so that he can share story ideas with her. Talmadge’s strange behavior alarms Hoagy, who subsequently learns that his visitor is also the state’s second-richest man, who’s under specialist psychiatric treatment. Talmadge escapes his minders, and bloodshed ensues, leaving Hoagy and Lulu with another homicide to solve. Hoagy’s smart-ass affect won’t be to every taste, and the lack of surprises disappoints. Handler has done better. Agent: Dominick Abel, Dominick Abel Literary. (May)
Reviewed on : 02/26/2021
Release date: 05/01/2021
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
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