Charlie Bradshaw is spending his 41st birthday in New York, trying to track down Sam, the son of his great high school love. Sam has gotten himself involved in a big-time drug deal, and everyone - from Sam to the New York cop on the case - wishes Charlie would go back to Saratoga to do his sleuthing. But a combination of stubbornness and savvy - to say nothing of Sam's enticing girlfriend - keeps the small-town cop deep in the Big City mystery.
Charlie Bradshaw is a regular, down-to-earth guy - middle-aged, divorced, an ex-cop working as a security guard at a Saratoga stable. Then his boss gets killed. It shows Charlie what's behind those powerful and prestigious stable owners. But Charlie doesn't back off. Aided by a motley band of guards and grooms, racetrack touts and toughs, Charlie discovers a far-reaching plot behind the murder - a discovery that just might cost him his life!
The decapitation of a former jockey hiding out in his house is just the beginning of Charlie Bradshaw's troubles. An old man dies in a fire, murder finds a stable owner, Charlie's Volkswagen is blown to bits. And while tracking down the vicious killer, the ex-cop turned private eye must prove that he has no mob connections.
With his detective agency facing hard times, Charlie Bradshaw moonlights as night manager at a Saratoga Springs hotel. Victor, his partner, snaps pictures of the happy tourists. But not all the tourists are happy with this self-styled Saratoga Snapper. When one "candid" subject runs Victor down and steals his camera, Charlie gets caught up in a dangerous scheme worthy of Saratoga's colorful past. It proves that passions still roil in this quiet resort town.
What's Super Bowl Sunday without a little gambling party in Saratoga Springs? By bedtime, private detective Charlie Bradshaw's a busy man. The bash has been robbed, Charlie hasn't recovered a stolen painting and a grocer lies dead behind his cash register. The names of five heavy gamblers promise to hold the key to the murder...and maybe much more. Charlie's investigation veers toward terror as it twists through a netherworld of unpleasant surprises.
Charlie, the private detective, gets embroiled in three cases involving poetry. A colleague's death leads Charlie to a nursing home where a poem in iambic hexameter provides a clue to a series of mysterious deaths. Whoever is robbing rooms at the Bentley Hotel leaves poems behind. And at a nearby artists' colony, Charlie poses as a poet to find out who's been harassing a pretentious literary critic.
Street-wise P.I. Charlie Bradshaw returns in a new Saratoga racetrack mystery. A man Charlie helped convict 20 years ago has been paroled from prison and is sending Charlie vicious death threats. To add to his problems, his long-time, one-in-a-million woman, Janey Burris, wants a commitment.
Saratoga Springs, the famous racing center, is again the setting for Stephen Dobyns's eighth mystery featuring Charlie Bradshaw, local cop turned private eye. This time, since Charlie is about to go on jury duty, his off-beat sidekick, Victor Plotz - "a high-on-pragmatism, low-on-ethics kind of guy" - agrees to poke around when wealthy horse owner Bernard Logan is kicked to death by a horse. Logan's death surely looks like an accident. Yet just a few days before, Logan had come looking for Charlie....
The ninth mystery set at the famed Saratoga Raceway presents a colorful tale of murder and horseflesh that's sure to satisfy mystery fans and racing enthusiasts alike. When P.I. Charlie Bradshaw's politically incorrect pal Victor Plotz becomes a murder suspect, he and Charlie find themselves caught up in the high drama of the horse auctions as they try to solve the case.
Victor is as crooked as Charlie is straight, and he'll do anything to make a quick buck, including running up to Montreal to collect a suspicious suitcase for a miserly old man. But when he decides to farm the job out to a bumbling black belt accomplice, all hell breaks loose - and the fun begins. In a slapstick, sinister farce with an unforgettable cast that includes Vic's main squeeze, Rosemary, an Amazon stripper named Sheila, and two kneecapping thugs called Steel and Clover, Victor and Charlie embark on the trail of every deadly sin from dirty money to outright murder.