Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Short Squeeze-Chris Knopf

Short Squeeze
Chris Knopf
Minotaur, Jan 19 2010, $24.99
ISBN: 9780312551230

In the Hamptons, widower Sergey Pontecello demands his sister-in-law Eunice Wolsonowicz and her retinue (daughter Wendy and adopted son Fuzzy) leave his home. Eunice refuses. Sergey turns to his lawyer Jackie Swaitkowski to evict the unwanted “guests”.

Soon afterward, Sergey is found battered to death in Sagaponack. Southampton Town cop Joe Sullivan tells Jackie her client had her card and a nipple on him; the nipple belonged to the late scuba shop bookkeeper Edna Jackery whose body parts are everywhere except inside her coffin. Unable to remain patient while the cops investigate and feeling she owes Sergey as she blew away his concerns the night before his death, Jackie investigates only to find a family so blighted she concludes anyone of them could be the culprit.

Using a role reversal with Jackie starring and Sam Acquillo playing the second banana minor role as opposed to the lead (see Hard Stop and head Wounds), Short Squeeze is an entertaining whodunit as the lawyer shows her moxie searching for the killer. Filled with body humor and a horde of miscreants whose family fell out of the tree onto their heads, the story line is fast-paced, but owned by Swaitkowski who proves she can star in a fun investigative mystery.

Harriet Klausner