cover image Final Edit: A Nicholas Barlow Mystery Novel

Final Edit: A Nicholas Barlow Mystery Novel

Robert A. Carter. Mysterious Press, $18.95 (287pp) ISBN 978-0-89296-549-6

This second outing for bon-vivant publisher Nicholas Barlow, who made his debut in Casual Slaughters , is, like its predecessor, loaded with sly fun for book people (it even begins at an ABA show in Washington). The mystery here is: Who killed arrogant, overbearing imprint editor Parker Foxcroft, a man much admired for his prizewinning authors but cordially loathed by everyone at Barlow's publishing house? With a multiplicity of possible motives, from rejected authors to cuckolded husbands, there is no shortage of suspects--even Barlow himself had been wondering how to get rid of Foxcroft. As before, it is Barlow's crippled, brilliant brother, Tim, who comes up with a solution, after perusing the late but unlamented editor's computer files. It's a workable explanation, turning on a nice literary conceit, although plot details are not Carter's strongest suit. Where he shines is in the knowledgeable and witty publishing lore, and in the creation of Barlow as a man with a knack for an apt quote and an infectious love of the good things in life (and, considering how much he eats and drinks, a rather improbable allure for women). He could serve as a role model for all worthy, more straitlaced publishing folk. (July)