In classic noir tradition, English Professor Karen Pelletier gains a client when her office door opens and Trouble walks in. The dog, a Rottweiler, brings with him a famous Private Eye novelist and a problem. And since Sunnye Hardcastle (a Patricia Cornwell lookalike) will be a featured speaker in the English Department’s upcoming conference on the murder mystery (from a Feminist Perspective), Karen is intrigued. The next thing you know, one midnight someone rushes out of the Enfield library with an armload of rare books. In fact, the library is missing a truckload of its treasures. Then a theif is found dead in the stacks, his neck broken. With a real private eye on the case, the hunt is on—for the manuscript of Hammett’s famous novel, The Maltese Falcon, for the missing books, and for potential murder suspects. This sparkling fifth entry in an award-nominated series riffs the hardboiled genre and several sacred icons. What is truth? What is fiction? No one seems certain. Perhaps most frustrated is Karen’s boyfriend, Massachusetts police lieutenant Charlie Piotrowski, a man having trouble dividing his personal and professional life, let alone translating modern academic-speak. But then, don’t we all?
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