Another winner from the fast-paced racetrack mystery series that gives the reader a run for his money.
The latest, and most entertaining installment yet, in this popular series features the return of Charlie Bradshaw's scheming alter ego Victor Plotz, "without whom the world would be a much stuffier place" (The New York Times Book Review). Victor is as crooked as Charlie is straight, and he'll do anything to make a quick buck, including running up to Montreal to collect a suspicious suitcase for a miserly old man. But when he decides to farm the job out to a bumbling black belt accomplice, all hell breaks loose--and the fun begins. In a slapstick, sinister farce with an unforgettable cast that includes Vic's main squeeze, Rosemary, an Amazon stripper named Sheila, and two kneecapping thugs called Steel and Clover, Victor and Charlie embark on the trail of every deadly sin from dirty money to outright murder. Once again Charlie Bradshaw and his hapless henchmen provide what the Boston Sunday Globe calls "jaunty and colorful, good tongue-in-cheek fun"--and what fans of the series have come to expect.
Stephen Dobyns is nothing if not prolific: Saratoga Strongbox
is his 13th novel in 12 years, and the 10th in his acclaimed Charlie Bradshaw series. His new novel sets Charlie and his sidekick, Victor Plotz, on the trail of dirty money when Victor agrees to collect a suspicious suitcase in Montreal for old man Weber. Unfortunately, when Victor decides to farm the job out to Eddie Gillespie, a bumbling black belt with an overactive conscience, he's quickly embroiled in a fiasco involving kneecapping thugs, an Amazonian snake-wielding stripper, and an overly greedy heir to a money-laundering fortune. Even more anxiety-provoking are Victor's fears that his girlfriend Rosemary, "the Queen of Softness," has been stepping out with a mysterious Dodge-driving Lothario. Make no mistake, Victor and his reactions are the stars of this novel; plot comes a distant--but still enjoyable--second. Victor might best be thought of as Thoreau meets Groucho Marx meets just about any character you can think of from a Samuel Beckett play. An inveterate student of the human condition with a penchant for observing and participating in the myriad absurdities of life, Victor feels his wallet throb whenever anyone mentions a quick buck.
The New York Times Book Review has noted that "Dobyns is every bit as good a writer as Dick Francis." Wrong. When it comes to dialogue and characterization, Dobyns is by far Francis's superior. Dobyns's sardonic humor is ever-present, percolating just under the surface or erupting into dead-on descriptions of the motley characters who populate his novels. Saratoga Strongbox gives the reader a thoroughly rousing ride to the wire. --Kelly Flynn