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Editorial Reviews

Derringer and Agatha Award nominee Elizabeth Zelvin’s second mystery featuring freelance detective and recovering alcoholic Bruce Kohler has him careening from uptown to downtown Manhattan, and out and back from Brooklyn. He is set in motion at the behest of friends, computer genius Jimmy, and Barbara, a resplendent co-dependent with an Al-Anon sponsee accused of murdering her abusive ex-boyfriend. Mark Boyett (veteran of regional stage productions and a Fringe First Award winner at the Edinburgh Festival) brings a gritty, sardonic tone to the action-packed, noir-ish rhapsody of a detective trying to find the balance between sobriety, crime-chasing, lusting for a bereaved girlfriend, and keeping just beyond the clutches of an ever-suicide-threatening ex-wife.

Publisher's Summary

Recovering alcoholic Bruce Kohler and his friends, computer genius Jimmy and world-class codependent Barbara, are drawn into a murder investigation when the abusive boyfriend of Barbara's Al-Anon sponsee is found dead in her East Harlem apartment. Bruce has to juggle sleuthing, sobriety, a crush on the bereaved girlfriend, and the lure of his compelling but self-destructive ex-wife.

Bruce and his friends follow the killer's trail from the church basements of AA to a funeral and an Italian bakery in Brooklyn, a SoHo art gallery, an upscale lingerie boutique, an auto chop shop, and a near-fatal traffic jam on Canal Street. Bruce uncovers not only a murderer but his own struggle with love addiction.

©2009 Elizabeth Zelvin (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What members say

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jan
  • MKE
  • 11-23-17

Worth reading!

The mystery is a good one, but the brutally clear depictions of the aspects of addiction to alcohol can be more than some want to know about. That being said, it's not only a good mystery read, but also a fine and painless insight into the positive aspects of AA and Al-Anon. The publisher's blurb is somewhat informative but the story is more than that.
It turns out that I had it sitting on my audio TBR pile since June of 2014! What a shame. Mark Boyett was exemplary as narrator.

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Just ok...

Thought I would enjoy this series, but turns out it isn't for me. I totally get crime novels bring in the real world to add to their story. unfortunately since I am very familiar with AA, the amount of time spent talking about AA just was way too much. Decent crime novel, just not a good fit for me.