Created by Zane M. Smith
Poor CHARLEY GRANT. It's not enough that he's a disgraced CEO who recently did eighteen months for insider trading -- he's also alcoholic. So let's just say the career opportunities aren't exactly knocking for our boy, and that he's a little desperate for work.
In his first recorded case, A Gypsy Lady To Die For (2000), set in Providence, Rhode Island, an old buddy who's a senior executive for a high-tech company throws Charley a bone, hiring him to investigate the possible theft of some corporate secrets.
But things take a nasty turn. Bodies start dropping like flies and Charley discovers he's got cops and assorted hitmen after him. And all Charley has on his side is Franklin Quint the Third, a droopy-eyed undertaker who favors canary yellow pants, pointy Italian shoes, and a .25 automatic in his jockeys. It's enough to make a guy hit the sauce again...
The buzz on this one is that it's an enjoyably unpretentious romp, a quick read, with some sly humour and a slew of colourful characters. That bodes well for author Zane Smith, who's a retired manufacturing executive with a dozen non-fiction business books already under his belt. He's only recently turned his eye to the hard-boiled genre.
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. Thanks, Zane, for the heads-up.
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