To solve a murder, Brady must find a copy of the world’s rarest stamp. It is a small paper square with uneven edges, dark blue in color, and bearing a smudged portrait of a long-dead king. It doesn’t look like much to Brady Coyne, but the stamp known as the Dutch Blue Error is one of a kind - a philatelic freak worth at least one million dollars. It is the prize possession of Ollie Weston, a wheelchair-bound Boston banker, and it is valuable enough that for its sake, several good men will die.
A fellow collector contacts Weston, claiming to have found a second copy of the Error - a claim that, if truthful, would destroy the stamp’s value. Weston sends his attorney, kindhearted Boston lawyer Brady Coyne, to purchase the rogue stamp for two hundred fifty thousand dollars, but just before the hand-off, the collector is killed and the stamp disappears.
Find the stamp and Brady will find the killer - but that will involve risking another one-of-a-kind item: his life.
After reading and enjoying William Tapply's first book, "Death at Charity's Point," decided to try this next in the series. I was not disappointed--it was a solidly good listen. On the other hand, in "The Dutch Blue Error," I didn't see the improvements in style, character presentations, etc that I had thought might start happening after the first book (in fact, it was a little confusing, because Coyne's personal assistant, who had just been introduced in the first book, was already--if temporarily--replaced by a new assistant, Zerk.)
This is a pretty good series--the action moves, the plot is interesting and the characters believable. I intend to continue listening to these, as they hold my attention and I find myself quite involved in the story. But there could be room for improvement (in my opinion). They lack a little pizzaz somehow.
In this book, Coyne is approached by one of his clients to try to negotiate for a rare stamp (known as the Dutch Blue Error) which leads to great danger for himself and Zerk. It was interesting that Tapply brought in an element of racial prejudice, but while it validated some of the social status of 1985 when this book was first published, it doesn't seem to have a lot to do with the actual story.
What I really like about the book(s) so far is that they are good mysteries, with promise for the same going forward. Brady Coyne is a likable, laid back fellow who seems to sort of get drafted into detecting, since he prefers his actual job--being a lawyer to the very wealthy who doesn't get involved in terribly taxing assignments. The narrator gets the laid-back quality very well in his reading. While I can't say this is a block-buster, I will definitely say it is very good--and I plan to read more in the series.
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