COOL BLUE TOMB by Paul Kemprecos

tomb   A P.I. mystery, set in Provincetown, Cape Cod , Mass.  Aristotle ‘Soc’   Socarides is a Viet Nam vet, was on the Boston police force, left that, and became a mix of wharf bum, cod fisherman, and part time private eye, living in a boathouse on the water.

His Greek family lives a couple of hours away where they operate a very lucrative wholesale pizza business.  What?  You never heard of Greek pizza?  Yeah, me neither.  But what do I know, I’m from New Jersey, land of the Sopranos and turnpikes.

Soc is contacted by a guy who wants to do salvaging of a 200 (or is it 300?) year old wreck  and is having some problems with the bureaucracy, having his paperwork all disappear. And a conflict with another salvage operation for the same site. And then there is that matter of the dead diver?  Oh, didn’t I mention the dead diver, caught up in fishnet, stuck until his air ran out and he drowned?  Must have slipped my mind.

THEN,  a classy, wealthy chick contacts our boy to trail her husband, whom she thinks is being followed, and she is afraid for his life.  What’s a classy, wealthy, totally gorgeous chick want with a low-market type P.I. like Soc?  Oh?  I didn’t mention she was totally gorgeous?  Must have slipped my mind as well.

Are these two cases related in some way?  Well, being the intrepid reader of mysteries that I am, I figure that, yeah,  they’re related.  Why else would they be in the same book?  But anyway, it takes quite a while to learn just how they are related.

Great mystery, really excellent writing, characters who will amuse you, and a setting that will make you want to move to Cape Cod — at least for three quarters of the year.  I think we can forget about the winter season there. And some nice info on the salvage industry, and some interesting history tidbits as well. What more can a reader ask of a P.I. Mystery?   Right?

There are five more books in the series, and if you like your P.I.’s more philosophical than hard-boiled, I recommend you check them out.


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