The Prostitutes' Ball
Stephen J. Cannell
St. Martin’s, Oct 12 2010, $25.99
LAPD Homicide Special Chief Tony Filosiana sends Detective Shane Scully to investigate an alleged shooting at a dilapidated Hollywood mansion with Detective Sumner Hitchens as his partner since his regular mate Sally Quinn is on leave for the holidays. Like most of the hardcore members of the unit, Scully detests the African-American detective, who dresses like he is the centerfold of GQ as he made a fortune selling the story of a homicide case to the movies. Scully reappraises his partner following a harrowing incident.
At the mansion, the two cops find three dead people (a producer and two females who Scully assumes are hookers) shot by the same gun. The homicides ended an apparent party in which the attendees fled for the hills. They apparently solve the case, but have one problem as an extra shell casing not from the murder weapon is found. Soon the pair works a cold case murder at the same locale that occurred over two and a half decades ago.
The dynamic partnering of the seemingly snob and the slob make for a refreshing Scully entry as each learns not to judge a book by its cover; both prove courageous, intelligent and full of heart. Although the teaming of apparent opposites is not new (see Hollywood Homicide with Harrison Ford and Josh Hartnett), fans of the saga (see The Pallbearers) will enjoy this fine entry as Stephen J. Cannell provides his fans with an engaging police procedural.