From Publishers Weekly
Veteran anthologist, editor and author Randisi (the Nick Delvecchio series, etc.) teams up with Matthews, a poet and playwright, to create the appealing sleuthing duo of Gil and Claire Hunt. The St. Louis couple, each married for the second time, have found marital bliss and professional contentment, Gil as a bookstore owner and Claire as the host of a local home-shopping TV show. When a serial killer starts murdering women in the St. Louis area, leaving the victims "watching" a videotape of Claire's show, the police naturally want to question Claire. With the police making little headway on the case and one hard-nosed homicide detective fingering Claire as the primary suspect, Gil and Claire decide to take matters into their own hands. As they explore the victims' backgrounds, they are drawn into a world of gambling and shopping compulsions?and also of danger, particularly to Claire, who may become the killer's next target. While the potential for bibliomystery remains untapped despite Gil's profession, the TV business is convincingly detailed, the St. Louis setting is well drawn and the bantering interplay of Gil and Claire will leave readers looking forward to a sequel.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The victims have been smothered, their eyes propped open and carefully placed so it appears they are watching television. Each has a tape in their VCR containing a lengthy selection from a St. Louis home-shopping network featuring local celebrity Clare Hunt. St. Louis cops Jason Holliday and Myra Longfellow must determine if Hunt is the next victim, the killer, or a red herring. Clare and her husband, Gil, in the tradition of amateur detectives everywhere, ignore the warning to "stay clear of the investigation" and follow their own intuition, which leads to a surprising and exciting conclusion. Randisi is the prolific creator of at least three other well-received series characters: Miles Jacoby, Nick Delvecchio, and Joe Keogh. This collaboration with St. Louis author Matthews is pleasantly entertaining, with the St. Louis setting providing an almost small-town atmosphere. Gil and Clare Hunt aren't Nick and Nora Charles, but they're still fun Let's hope we see them again. Wes Lukowsky
From Kirkus Reviews
Three murder victims, all women, are smothered to death within days of each other. World-class shoppers all, they met their fates while watching Claire Hunthost of St. Louis's most popular TV home-shopping showon videotape. Solely on that basis, C laire finds herself rated as suspect number one. Why? Good question. And on page 152, a minor character finally raises it, for all the good it does her. The best answer she gets pertains to the possibility of a mysterious aura hovering about a policewoman 's head, the dark effect of which is a pronounced anti-Claire bias. ``I think she's dirty,'' grumbles Detective Myra Longfellow, who may be the least convincing cop since the Keystoners. But now Claire and her adoring husband, bookshop owner Gil, find the mselves under the gun, so to speak. In time-honored crime-fiction fashion, they respond by becoming amateur sleuths in order to prove Claire's innocence. Sleuthing takes them down various unrewarding paths and into several ill-tempered confrontations with the police. At length, though, they turn up at a meeting of Gamblers Anonymous where, somewhat implausibly, several suspects put in an appearance. Shortly thereafter, the trail again goes cold. The sleuthing, both amateur and professional, seems to reach a dead end. Actually, such sleuthing as theres been all slid into the low grade. And when the feckless killer is eventually caught, it's mostly because he's entirely cooperative. Bland characters, feeble plotting, undistinguished prose. Randisi (In the S hadow of the Arch, 1998, etc.) has done better. -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Robert J. Randisi's 2011 novel for Perfect Crime, The End of Brooklyn, won plaudits in a Booklist starred review as "dark, brooding and thoroughly compelling." The six-volume Miles Jacoby series, reissued in 2012, brought back the prize-fighter PI in novels as infused with the harmonies of New York as a Canarsie cab driver. "If [it] moved any faster you'd have to nail it down to read it," said Elmore Leonard of the first Jacoby book. Described by Booklist as "the last of the pulp writers," Randisi has published in the western, mystery, horror, science fiction and men's adventure genres, and he has been honored by the Private Eye Writers of America with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Christine Matthews has published over sixty stories under her real name, Marthayn Pelegrimas, as well as her "Matthews" mystery pseudonym. She has appeared in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, Deadly Allies II, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, Lethal Ladies, For Crime Out Loud I & II, Mickey Spillane's Vengeance Is Hers, Cat Crimes On Holiday, Till Death Do Us Part, Hollywood and Crime and Crime Square. Her stories have been chosen five times for Ed Gorman and Martin H. Greenberg's Best of the Year books, the most recent being the 2011 edition. She is the author of four novels and the editor of several anthologies. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.