Here’s a new slant — a guy doing some detecting for friends without a P.I. license and is not a cop. It’s a cozy-ish mystery with a likable lad as the faux detector. Jake Samson was a cop in Chicago during the 60’s riots, and after having to bash some college kids over the head, decided that police activities of that kind
truly sucked were not for him, so moved to California, a bit north of San Francisco. So I am getting the idea that this is set in the 80s.
Jake conveniently has a little money from a small inheritance, (gee, some people have all the luck) and some savings, so he bought a little place which has another tiny cottage on the grounds which he rents out to Rosie, a carpenter, whose sexual orientation turns out, conveniently as you will see, to be ummm gay. This is convenient because she kind of becomes his sidekick in the detecting business. It would have proved untenable if she were straight because then there would be all that sexual tension, yada yada yada.
The wife of a political science professor at the local college is found dead below the deck of their hillside home. A chick whom Samson used to date suggested to the husband that he call Jake for help in solving the case before it got too headline-y.
Turns out that the chick and the husband are friends, if you get my drift. Natch, the police are eyeing the husband, because of the friend, the friend isn’t looking any too clean, either, and then there is the campus radical right wing activist group, who are targeting the husband as a symbol of oppression or something, and set his office on fire. Turns out the little wifey belonged to that group, (Holy protest, Batman), and there are a few other suspicious characters stumbling about to muddy the waters.
Samson has a weekly poker game at his house, so the titles of this series are all poker terms.
Like I said, cozy mystery, so don’t get yourself all worked up that it isn’t the definitive expose of 80s student politics and the San Francisco zeitgeist of yore. It’s a pleasurable read. So also don’t be asking yourself questions such as
Why would a guy whose wife has been declared murdered and is himself under suspicion for the deed call upon an amateur sleuth to help him out? Does that even make any sense?
Just enjoy the book and, as my father used to say, quit yer bitchin’.
Oh, I forgot to tell you. Jake’s father periodically calls him long distance collect. He figures if Jake can afford to accept the long distance call, he is doing OK and dad doesn’t have to worry about him. I LIKE this. I think I may use this technique on my kids. Can you reverse the charges on Skype?