Junior Bender is back to untangle one of the weirdest mysteries in Tinseltown.
LA burglar Junior Bender has, unfortunately, developed a reputation as a competent private investigator for crooks. The unfortunate part about this is that, regardless of whether he solves the crime or not, someone dangerous is going to be unhappy with him - either his suspect or his employer.
Now Junior is being bullied into proving aging music-industry mogul Vinnie DiGaudio is innocent of the murder of a nasty tabloid journalist he'd threatened to kill a couple times. It doesn't help that the dead journalist's widow is one pretty lady, and she's trying to get Junior to mix business with pleasure. Just as the investigation is spiraling out of control, Junior's hard-drinking landlady begs him to solve the disappearance of her daughter, who has gotten involved with a very questionable character. And, worst news of all, both Junior’s ex-wife and his 13-year-old daughter, Rina, seem to have new boyfriends. What a mess.
"Hallinan’s second Junior Bender mystery sends the LA burglar/PI on a journey into pop music’s supposedly innocuous 1950s past, mixing light and dark humor… The skewed, Runyonesque Southern California setting, epitomized by Junior’s home, the seedy but festively Yule-themed Marge 'n Ed’s North Pole motel, promises much for further outings." (
"In Hallinan’s Los Angeles, where everyone leans on everyone else, investigator/thief Junior Bender gets leaned on good. Versatile Hallinan provides a wealth of seamy types, past and present, and a thousand hard-boiled similes for his second-string Philip Marlowe." ( Kirkus Reviews)
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