The Bughouse Affair by Marcia Muller & Bill Pronzini
The mystery world's only living couple to be honored as Grand Masters by Mystery Writers of America join forces for the fourth novel written together. Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini have a fascinating collaboration in The Bughouse Affair. Pronini has written novels featuring John Quincannon, a former United States Secret Service Agent. Together, Muller and Pronzini wrote a story collection, Carpenter and Quincannon: Professional Detective Services. Now, fifteen years later, they bring their characters back for two diverging cases that find them meeting up with an interfering man, an Englishman claiming to be Sherlock Holmes.
In 1894 San Francisco, Qunicannon has been in business with Sabrina Carpenter, a former Pinkerton detective, for three years. Although they're business partners, he would like to be more, but the attractive widow has refused his advances. She does see through his tough exterior, though, to see the sensitive man. But, a recent news story by Ambrose Bierce finds Quincannon blustery. Bierce proclaims it a lie when a San Francisco visitor claims to be the late Sherlock Holmes who reportedly died three years earlier at Reichenbach Falls. Quincannon doesn't believe that Holmes was the greatest detective, and he's even angrier when the claimant foils Quincannon's attempt to catch a burglar. The man's pontifications only convince Quincannon that the man is nuts.
Quincannon is attempting to catch a burglar who is stealing from customers of the Great Western insurance company. Sabrina Carpenter has her own case, the search for a female pickpocket who has been targeting male customers at a local amusement park. The two cases seem to have nothing in common, but as the two detectives deal with escapes and murder, they find their searches leading in similar directions. Their cases may be frustrating, but not as frustrating as trying to deal with the "scrawny gibbering imitation" of Sherlock Holmes.
It's evident why Muller and Pronzini are masters. They deftly handle the historic San Francisco, the mystery, two fascinating private investigators, and the interesting addition of Sherlock Holmes. The Bughouse Affair is a serious story with comic moments. Anyone interested in historical mysteries or Sherlock Holmes pastiches will appreciate the latest effort of this wonderful team. Here's hoping we won't have to wait years for the next Carpenter and Quincannon mystery.
I have been a library manager/administrator for over 30 years, in Ohio, Florida, Arizona, and, now, Indiana. Winner of the 2011 Arizona Library Association Outstanding Library Service Award. I am a contributing Book Reviewer for Library Journal, Mystery Readers Journal, ReadertoReader.com and VibrantNation.com. Winner of the 2009 and 2010 Spinetingler Awards for Best Reviewer. First Fan Guest of Honor for Desert Sleuths Chapter of Sisters in Crime, Write Now! Conference.
It's an honor to be asked to review books, and I'm grateful to all the publishers, publicists, and authors who send me books. Thank you. Reviews will appear on my blog if I've had a chance to read, and finish, the book. If I do not finish a book, I won't review it, and I will not respond to emails asking when, or if, I'll be reviewing a book.
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Splish, Splash, Splosh!: David Melling
Book: Splish, Splash, Splosh! Author: David Melling (@DavidMelling1) Pages: 22 Age Range: 2-5 Splish, Splash, Splosh! by David Melling is a medium-sized boar...
My Oct. 19, 2009 blog provides full disclosure that I only receive review copies of books, with no other compensation. All review copies are marked as such. If there any any questions, please feel free to contact me.