cover image Stand-Up


Robert J. Randisi. Walker & Company, $20.95 (242pp) ISBN 978-0-8027-3196-8

In this hip but ho-hum tale, Randisi's third Miles Jacoby mystery (Separate Cases; Hard Look), the Manhattan PI juggles two cases. One has him searching for a missing pal who supposedly can alibi a murder suspect; the other sends him hunting for a stand-up comic's missing jokes, apparently stolen out of a computer. Jacoby also runs his bar, Packy's, and considers a proposed partnership with Gotham's star investigator, Walker Blue. While chasing clues from the Russian Tea Room to the Stage Deli, Jacoby drops a slew of names-major players, minor players, walk-on cops, old dead friends (at least 45, not counting celebrities)-that slow the narrative to a crawl, in spite of Randisi's short, snappy chapters. Murders, a vicious beating and a quick trip to Vegas don't enliven the pages much. Brooklyn-born Randisi, who lives in St. Louis, sounds like he's missing his native soil. (Dec.)