Thursday, April 22, 2010
Format: hardcover 192 pages
Characters: John Francis Cuddy
Subject : search for a missing teenager
Setting: Boston and surrounding towns
Series: John Francis Cuddy
Genre: detective fiction
Source: public library
Challenge: Support your local library; Thrillers, Suspense and Mysteries
I read this for a mystery book club discussion. It's a delightful, well-written example of pure detective fiction. As the first one of the genre I read after reading P.D. James' book, I really had fun as some of her comments resonated about how such novels are constructed. There are likable characters, believable plot twists, and enough of the Boston setting to make it quite enjoyable. Basically, John Francis Cuddy, private detective, is hired to find a missing 14 yr old boy, Stephen Kinnington. Stephen's grandmother is the person doing the hiring, as the boy's father, Judge Kinnington seems to want the lid put on the boy's disappearance, does not seem anxious to find him, and everyone in the town is afraid of His Honor.
Cuddy's search lands him in some unfortunate scrapes as the judge's talons reach further and further, but he is determined to find the boy. No spoilers, but it's a quick read, easy to follow, not at all banal example of good detective writing. As the first of over a dozen in the series, it has whetted my appetite for more of this gentleman's detecting.