cover image Vixen: A Nameless Detective Novel

Vixen: A Nameless Detective Novel

Bill Pronzini. Forge, $24.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-7653-3568-5

In the heavy-handed prologue of MWA Grand Master Pronzini’s 40th Nameless Detective novel (after 2014’s Strangers), the San Francisco PI links Cory Beckett, “a femme fatale in the classic mode,” with a “brand of evil like nothing I could ever have imagined.” What follows doesn’t live up to that hype. Bail bondsman Abe Melikian approaches Nameless on Cory’s behalf to track down her brother, Kenneth, who’s been arrested for stealing a diamond necklace belonging to a powerful union leader’s wife. Kenneth has violated the terms of his bail by leaving the city without permission, and Nameless asks his partner, Jake Runyon, to trace him. When Jake finds Kenneth, the defendant claims that he was framed by his sister. The case soon escalates to murder. Nameless and his colleagues make an odd ethical choice that will have some readers scratching their heads, and the vicissitudes of the leads’ personal lives seem tacked on. [em]Agent: Dominick Abel, Dominick Abel Literary Agency. (June) [/em]