1950’S NOIR IS BACK— BUT
WITH TONGUE FIRMLY IN CHEEK!
P.I. Lou Fleener’s got a great disguise—he’s kind of short, slightly pudgy, and a little nondescript. But whatever you do, don’t get in a fight with him, even if you’ve brought a couple of buddies. Because you’re gonna lose every time. Some people just have a gift.
One of Lou’s is that nobody ever sees him coming, and he’s pretty much the Bruce Lee of street fighting. Who they see—especially if they’re female—is his tall, handsome friend Monk, and that brings us to Lou’s second superpower. He’s got a little something for the ladies too—he can dance like an Arthur Murray instructor.
Not your average 1950s Chicago P.I.
Duane Lindsay’s fresh take on the tough-guy detective is nicely buttressed by humor, graceful writing, and big, fun plots that sometimes evolve into intricate capers. Like this one.
It starts out nice and easy. Lou—an expert in Chicago gangster lore—is hired against his better judgment to find the adorable missing daughter of a wise guy. Only Amanda’s not really missing. In fact, there is no Amanda. The gangster’s got a devious agenda of his own.
But by the time Lou’s found that out, he’s got four crime bosses gunning for him, and he’s plenty pissed off. Not only should you never fight with Lou Fleener, you should also never piss him off. He quickly enlists Monk to outplot the plotters— because Monk’s super power is working out intricate and diabolical revenge plans. Next thing you know, Lou, Monk, a ragtag bunch of other P.I.s and blonde, intrepid Cassidy, Lou’s new squeeze, are conducting a dizzying array of heists that whisk the reader around glorious 1950’s Chicago.
If it all works, they get to live. And they might get rich. And for sure, somebody gets the girl.
Hard-boiled and caper readers step up—because here Lindsay pulls off a trick few writers who aren’t Donald Westlake will even attempt—he manages to create a noir yet delightfully careening and often humorous read.
Who else will like it? Well, since it pretty much has everything, pretty much all mystery fans, whether your favorite sub-genre is 50s pulp, noir, caper, or even cozy (because of the endearing characters, fun plot, and good humor). In particular fans of Westlake, Lawrence Block and Tim Hallinan (when in burglar mode), Thomas Perry, and TV shows like Good Girls and Imposters.