Elegy for a Thief

Elegy for a Thief

by Margaret L. Press
     
 

A stunning young woman with a promising career and no apparent enemies is found with a bullet in her head, sprawled on the living room floor of her North Salem, Massachusetts, apartment. Having made his debut in Requiem for a Postman, Detective Sergeant Gabriel Dunn of the Salem Police Department returns in this witty and poignant new mystery by Margaret Press. This… See more details below

Overview

A stunning young woman with a promising career and no apparent enemies is found with a bullet in her head, sprawled on the living room floor of her North Salem, Massachusetts, apartment. Having made his debut in Requiem for a Postman, Detective Sergeant Gabriel Dunn of the Salem Police Department returns in this witty and poignant new mystery by Margaret Press. This time, Dunn sets out to probe an apparent suicide, crack a series of break-ins, and recover a box of valuable baseball cards. Dunn soon discovers that Moira Doheny had been running with a gang of thieves from whom she wanted to escape. Chronic headaches from a mysterious accident had left her with constant pain and partial amnesia. Are these reasons for her suicide or clues to lead Dunn to the apprehension of her killer? Who benefits with Moira out of the game? Can a 1953 Willie Mays help Dunn break the deadlock in this case? Elegy for a Thief is about taking chances on desperate plays. It is also about cops and robbers, men and women, the richness of Salem's history, the intoxication of flight, and the finality of death. And, in the end, it is a compelling mystery.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The suicide of a young woman arouses the suspicions of police Sgt. Gabriel Dunn of Salem, Mass., in his second appearance, following Requiem for a Postman . Moira Doheny, suffering headaches after an automobile accident, ostensibly kills herself with a pistol, leaving a typewritten note saying she could no longer stand the pain. Dunn's partner, Jake Myles, and Moira's family accept the obvious; Dunn's doubts are fueled by the presence of two bullets. Although pressed to leave the apparently open-and-shut case to work on a series of shop burglaries, he delves into Moira's life and finds out that she had run with bad crowds, taking up with young men she felt she could reform. Her most recent lover, Chris Alexei, is a talented safecracker responsible for many of the burglaries Dunn is being urged to investigate, including the theft of a valuable collection of baseball cards. Further probing turns up other mysteries in Moira's life that may have led to her death. A powerful realism informs this solid, gritty procedural about a decent, compassionate, hard-working cop in a small working-class city. (June)
Library Journal - Library Journal
North Salem's detective Sergeant Gabriel Dunn ( Requiem for a Postman ) and partner Jake Myles ponder a ``suicide'' case that required two bullets. The investigation quickly dissolves to a small pack of baseball-card thieves and their hangers-on, thus emphasizing the positive use of police intuition and the encroachment of professional police procedure on criminal activities. Village flavor, a limited number of suspects, a standard story line, and enjoyable subplots recommend this to larger collections.
Stuart Miller
American police procedurals too often describe the minutiae of police work in excruciating detail. Or they focus totally on the violent and cynical sides of human nature. Either way, the result can be depressing or at least tiresome reading. That's not the case with this excellent story of Sergeant Gabriel Dunn of the Salem, Massachusetts, Criminal Investigation Division. It departs from the blood-and-gore school (featuring remarkably little of either), and while it provides a good dose of cynical realism, it's served up with a generous leavening of hope at just the right moment. The beginning is straight out of Procedural Plots 101: Moira Doheny, an attractive redhead, is found shot to death, suicide note in typewriter, her fingerprints on the gun, and a head wound entirely consistent with suicide. Enter Sergeant Dunn, who has a faint but definite feeling that something's not quite right. Having set up this thoroughly conventional pot, Press surprises you with a bevy of exceptionally well-drawn characters--Moira's benumbed family; her friends; a host of petty crooks and thieves who would be comfortable in a Brecht/Weil musical; and the honest, humane Gabe, who's a good cop and a not-so-good, now ex-husband. Gabe is old enough to know all about the banality of evil but not so jaded as to disbelieve in the kindness of strangers. The skillfully handled plot, well-paced narrative, excellent characterization, and delightful sense of humor make this a procedural for all seasons. Recommend with confidence and hope for another.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780881849493
Publisher:
Avalon Publishing Group
Publication date:
06/01/1993
Edition description:
1st Carroll & Graf ed
Pages:
208

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >