Friday, May 18, 2012

Curse of the Jade Lady-David Housewright

Curse of the Jade Lady

David Housewright

Minotaur, Jun 5 2012, $25.99

ISBN: 9780312642310

Midwest Farmers Insurance Group agent Vincent Donatucci visits former cop Rushmore McKenzie who muses the last time he saw the insurance man was when he received a check for $3,128,584.50. The visitor says most people with large payouts become withdrawn due to the reaction of loved ones; some become philanthropists; and then there is McKenzie who became Batman. He further explains that someone stole the Qing Dynasty Jade Lily from the City of Lakes Art Museum in Minneapolis. The “artnappers” called the museum director Perrin Stewart with a ransom demand of one third of the insurance which is just under 1.3 million. The thieves asked for McKenzie to act as the delivery boy.

The simple exchange turns complex when the State Department, the FBI, Heavenly the woman representing a nebulous entity, and others demand McKenzie give them the gem allegedly cursed like Tut’s tomb. When one of the thieves is found murdered and other deaths follow, the Curse of the Jade Lily seems at work.

The latest McKenzie mystery (see Highway 61) is a wonderful thriller as the protagonist wonders who next will show up ordering him to do something. Filled with humor and a strong cast that are 360 degrees encircling the Jade Lily, this is a fast-paced winner as the hero believes the Jade Lily is not cursed; he is cursed.

Harriet Klausner

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