cover image Herbie’s Game: A Junior Bender Mystery

Herbie’s Game: A Junior Bender Mystery

Timothy Hallinan. Soho Crime, $26.95 (400p) ISBN 978-1-61695-429-1

Junior Bender takes on his most personal case yet in Hallinan’s rollicking fourth mystery featuring the master safe—and joke—cracker (after 2013’s The Fame Thief). When Wattles, a notorious crook based in L.A.’s San Fernando Valley, realizes that he’s missing a very important piece of paper, a list of all the “disconnects,” or shady men, he hired to pull off a job, he asks Bender to retrieve the document. Bender’s first stop, however, ends in tragedy: when he calls on his mentor and father figure, Herbie Mott, he finds that Herbie has been tortured and killed. Herbie taught Bender everything he knows about stealing, but Bender is in for a shock when unsavory details of Herbie’s life come to light, with all-too-real consequences for the wisecracking thief and those close to him. Hallinan injects what could be a stale revenge tale with his signature dry wit, making Bender a laconic antihero to admire. [em]Agent: Bob Mecoy, Bob Mecoy Literary. (July) [/em]