Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The False-Hearted Teddy by John J. Lamb

If you think mysteries featuring teddy bears are just sweet cozies, think again. John J. Lamb is a retired homicide detective, and his Bear Collector's mysteries combine expert knowledge of murder investigations with teddy bear collecting and shows. The False-Hearted Teddy, the second book in the series, is another example of excellent characters, an interesting case, and teddy bears.

Retired San Francisco homicide detective, Brad Lyons, and his wife, Ashleigh, take their bear show on the road when they head to the Baltimore Har-Bear Expo, a premiere teddy bear convention. They're eager to exhibit the handiwork of Lyon's Tigers and Bears, Ashleigh's Confection Collection, bears dressed as sweets, and Brad's first bear, Dirty Beary, a bear based on Dirty Harry Callahan. But, at check-in, Brad's attempt to stop a man from abusing his wife lands them in the middle of the problems of an award-winning couple.

It isn't long before word is circulating in the hall that Jennifer and Tony have signed a contract for marketing and television for their Cheery Cherub Bears. But, there's a third party involved in their business, the man who writes the books. And, what about the woman who claims that Jennifer stole her bears? When Jennifer reaches for her inhaler, and ends up dead, there seem to be a number of suspects. So, why is Brad the suspect picked out by a belligerent Baltimore officer?

If you've read too many cozy mysteries, wondering why the amateur detective gets involved, and why they're allowed to investigate, this series might be perfect for you. A retired homicide detective is the perfect amateur detective, a man who knows his way around a crime scene, and understands how to interrogate witnesses. Brad and Ashleigh Lyons are an ideal pair of investigators. Who knew the world of teddy bears could be so crime-ridden? But, greed, passion and competition can even invade the world of teddy bear shows. Knowing that, Brad and Ashleigh agree they won't return to Baltimore for the next Har-Bear Expo. It's just too risky, when dealing with The False-Hearted Teddy.

John J. Lamb's website is

The False-Hearted Teddy by John J. Lamb. Berkley Prime Crime, ©2007. ISBN 9780425216101 (paperback), 272p.


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

You're right...I do like a good reason why a sleuth would get involved. I like the idea of a retired homicide detective, and I think the teddy bear idea is really fresh. Thanks!

Mystery Writing is Murder

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Elizabeth. Doesn't it bother you sometimes when it seems the amateur detective shouldn't have been involved? I'm good at suspending disbelief, but it's nice to have a reason for the sleuth to investigate at times.

Chèli said...

I have this whole series and I'm hoping to get to it before the end of the year. Glad it's something to look forward to.

Lesa said...

I really like it, Cheli. I have the whole series, too, and I'm sure I'll be reading the third one shortly.