is was an attorney and left that all behind to become a P.I. This is the sixth in the Delacourt mystery series, so there is a lot of back story, but this is the first one I have read, and I didn’t find it bothersome not to have read them all first. So I would call it more or less a stand alone.
[I must admit this is the first time I have really considered the difficulty of writing yet another book in an ongoing series, determining how much back story to use, how many references to other cases, or other events in order to keep some kind of continuity and not have a new reader dazed and confused, yet not bore long time faithful readers with a lot of repetition. I think this book just may stand as an excellent example of how to do it right.]
Apparently Mz Delacourt has just gotten engaged to a San Francisco Police Dept. homicide detective, and let me tell you, ladies, the man is a treasure! He is just too good to be true….. or real…. which is why he appears in fiction, and not in somebody’s romantic memoir.
Well, there is an earthquake, things go bumpity bump, and the Loved One cannot be reached by phone at any of his hangouts. (Did I mention that he is also a sculptor? Yeah, see what I mean?) So Gena gets in her vehicle with their dog Stella, who is just a canine treasure, and drives around looking for him. I guess this makes sense. She sees his truck parked at a mansion of an extremely wealthy woman who is never seen, after years of being an adolescent Goth fixture on the social scene. She is …. what do they call those kind of people? Oh yeah. Reclusive. She has a number of properties, all of which are kept in immaculate condition by a small staff at each location.
Gena goes onto the property which is clearly marked NO TRESSPASSING because .. privilege, I guess, and takes Stella with her, because of course, that is exactly what I would do when illegally tresspassing, take my dog with me. Anyway, Stella senses the boyfriend is inside and breaks away from Gena and finds the dude in the cellar where the ceiling above has fallen on him. (Now this is what I mean about Stella being a treasure. Any of my three woof woofs would make a beeline for the kitchen and begin rummaging in the cabinets for food, and I or my Dearly Beloved could lie there in the cellar for weeks before those bozos would be able to buy a clue.)
So the boyfriend is saved but suffers severe brain trauma, and let me tell you I have experience with this from when my ex suffered brain trauma after a motorcycle accident. He is in a coma for a long time and when he wakes up, has almost no memory of anything and definitely doesn’t know who Gena is. She is devastated.
She is determined to find out why he was even there on the property, and that is the mystery that is offered to us Gentle Readers. She contacts another P.I she knows from some previous case and together they go do a lot of P.I.ing, and if you think you might know about the reclusive property owner, you are probably right. Does the dude ever recovery his memory and will he finally remember who the chick is who is always hanging around? Oh, please, what do you think?
Very readable, decent mystery, a bit mushy, and I think the recovery period of our brain-damaged SFPD boy is speeded up much more than is realistic, but I am willing to suspend disbelief a bit because everybody is so darn likable.
So all in all, not bad. It’s a mystery, folks. It ain’t Infinite Jest.