A new Stanley Hastings novel is like "comfort food" reading for me. They're usually a quick read, and the fact that they're all kind of the same is comforting rather than annoying. Stanley, a failed actor, works for an ambulance-chasing attorney taking photographs to back up their clients' claims of accidental injuries. But Stanley wants to be a "real" detective, and he thinks that means spending hours in a car on stakeout and peeing in a Gatorade bottle. But he doesn't really think about the consequences of his actions, and as a result he's always rushing in and messing up the crime scene, getting arrested for murder and then, of course, trying to fix things in his own bumbling way.
Stanley has a long-suffering wife, Alice, who he readily admits is a lot smarter than he is, but strangely enough, he never seems to follow her advice.
The murder mystery is secondary to the character study, in my opinion. I enjoy the relationships between Stanley and Alice, Stanley and Richard the attorney, and Stanley and his police detective friend McAuliffe. A very enjoyable read.
I received this book from NetGalley in return for a review; I was not paid for this review, nor required to post a positive review.