Monday, October 21, 2019
The Headstone Detective Agency - Robert J. Randisi
Not many authors are as devoted to the private eye genre as Bob Randisi. Not only did he found the Private Eye Writers of America many years ago, he's also written many excellent novels in the genre himself.
The latest of them is THE HEADSTONE DETECTIVE AGENCY, which is set in New York City and narrated by John Headston, once the youngest detective in the NYPD and then later the owner of a large, flourishing private agency with many operatives working for him. But as this book opens, those glory days are in the past, and Headston himself is the only one left in the agency. Most of the time he's little more than a glorified process server, but along comes a case more like what he handled in the old days. A highly successful Wall Street stockbroker has disappeared, and the man's beautiful wife hires Headston to find him.
He actually accomplishes that task in pretty short order, but his troubles are just beginning. There's a murder, and while Headston himself isn't suspected of being the killer, he still feels driven to solve the case even though it might put him in danger of losing his license, something that's happened to him in the past.
As always with a Randisi novel, THE HEADSTONE DETECTIVE AGENCY is fast-paced and dialogue-driven. The plot is suitably twisty, the solution is satisfying, and John Headston is a world-weary, occasionally wisecracking PI in the classic mold. I just had a great time reading this book. It reminded me of the private eye novels I grew up reading, while at the same time having a contemporary edge to it. There are more John Headston books coming, and I'm looking forward to them.