Sunday, August 12, 2018
The Man Who Couldn't Miss by David Handler
In the summer of 1993, Hoagy is living in his ex-wife's guest cottage on her Connecticut farm, writing away. He's had writer's block for ten years, and he's finally writing something he's happy with. And, of course, he and Lulu, the basset hound, are close to Merilee.
Merilee is directing a one-night only production of Noel Coward's "Private Lives". She's brought in some of her award-winning former classmates from Yale School of Drama for a fundraiser. They hope to save and restore the dilapidated Sherbourne Playhouse, where Katherine Hepburn first performed. Hoagy says it was an "uncommonly gifted class". The former classmates all admit that Robert John Romero, R.J., was once the most gifted of all of them, "the man who couldn't miss". But, R.J. is now blackmailing others, including Merilee.
Nothing goes right before opening night, but the stars all show up, including Katherine Hepburn, to support the show. And, it's a stellar performance, until the curtain has to go down in Act II, when one of the performers is found dead. Now, Hoagy and Lily are on the case, with Hoagy's witty comments and Lulu's noise as weapons.
Fans of the series will welcome Hoagy's wit and his dapper choice in clothing. There's always a great deal of humor in these books, thanks to Hoagy. And, the grand reveal is pulled off with the assistance of the police, not by the sleuth alone.
The Man Who Couldn't Miss is definitely a period piece, featuring celebrities of the early '90s and timely connections that can't be revealed without spoiling the plot. It's Hoagy, Lulu, theater, and The Man Who Couldn't Miss.
David Handler's website is www.davidhandlerbooks.com
The Man Who Couldn't Miss by David Handler. William Morrow, 2018. ISBN 9780026412850 (paperback), 256p.
FTC Full Disclosure - I received the book to review for a journal.