Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Highly Effective Detective Goes to the Dogs-Richard Yancey

The Highly Effective Detective Goes to the Dogs
Richard Yancey
St. Martin's, Aug 2008, $24.95
ISBN: 0312347537

For the second time Teddy Ruzak fails the Tennessee private investigator licensing exam; he also failed the police exam. Already despondent, he knows the two strikes your out state rule. He is notified to shut his practice.

Teddy leaves his office only to notice a homeless man just outside; he gives the man his hat. The next day, Teddy returns to his office only to see the same man dead in the ally behind the building. Someone beat the homeless person to death. Rationalizing that he does not have a paying customer so he is breaking no violations, Teddy begins to investigate even as he is joined by Archie the clever sleuthing canine so intelligent he was residing at the pound and the pound desk assistant U of T philosophy student Amanda.

Teddy is terrific in his second appearance as THE HIGHLY EFFECTIVE DETECTIVE who bumbles his way through the investigation. The story line is driven by Teddy who’s “Noir-lit" asides and his sleuthing companions make for an amusing Tennessee waltz as he struggles to solve the case, feed the dog, and get the woman. His successful ineptitude makes for a fun anti-hardboiled detective.

Harriet Klausner