cover image My Darling Detective

My Darling Detective

Howard Norman, read by Bronson Pinchot. Blackstone Audio, unabridged, 6 CDs, 7

In Norman’s smart new novel, set in 1970s Nova Scotia, protagonist Jacob Rigolet is attending a photographic art auction when his mother, Nora, a patient at a nearby residential treatment center, rushes into the room and tosses ink on Robert Capa’s famous 1945 photo Death on a Leipzig Balcony. After a swift arrest, Nora is interrogated by Halifax Regional Police investigator Martha Crauchet—who is also her future daughter-in-law. The story behind the attack on Capa’s photo is revealed, bringing up other mysteries involving family relationships, romantic entanglements, books, libraries, an amusingly noir radio drama, and murders. All of this is presented in a fast-paced, whimsical, semidetached literary style that few can bring off as successfully or as entertainingly as Norman. Fortunately, Pinchot is an actor capable of the subtlety this type of stylized fiction demands. His excellent portrayals of the hopelessly-in-love Jacob and Martha, to the wistful Nora, and the hard-boiled characters on the couple’s favorite radio show, Detective Levy Detects, don’t miss a beat. A Houghton Mifflin Harcourt hardcover. (Mar.)