The Cold Blue Blood, David Handler, St, Martin's, $6.50.
David Handler is Peter Lovesey's only match for sheer story-telling skill. He tells a story in such a straightforward, clear way, that's also immensely entertaining and is so easy and fun to read he makes the whole darn thing look easy - which I'm sure it's not. This is one terrific series opener - it's about recently widowed New York film critic Mitch Berger who is banished by his editor to the wilds of Connecticut. He ends up living in a barn on an exclusive island enclave populated by rich Yankee bluebloods; only problem, he digs up a dead body while gardening. Add to this mix the delicious character of Des Mitry, a six foot tall, beautiful, African American woman and police lieutenant, and you get the whole yin and yang of mystery, made new again by Handler's trademark humor and seamless storytelling skill. I can think of very few people who would not enjoy this novel.
The second installment, The Hot Pink Farmhouse, is out in hardback.
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