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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Crackling with energy, this double-barreled mystery from the author of Many Happy Returns auspiciously launches an appealing new hero lightly brushed with sleaze. Benjamin Abbot III, a former investigator for Naval Intelligence and a Wall Street bond trader who served time for insider dealing, now runs the family real estate agency in his upscale hometown of Newbury, Conn. A New York City PI working for wealthy businessman Jack Long, who owns a weekend estate in Newbury, offers Ben $5000 to videotape Jack's artist wife Rita with her lover. Ben, who wants to winterize his barn, uneasily accepts. Midway through the job, however, his conscience wins out and he destroys the tape. The next day, the lover is found murdered on the Long's property and Rita is arrested. That evening, the body of Ben's reputable cousin Renny is discovered in a small plane, shot through the head and sprinkled with cocaine. Are the murders connected? Rita hires Ben to find her lover's killer, retaining him even after he tells her about the taping. As the decent--and not so nice--citizens of Newbury, who have lifted gossip to a new art form, talk about the crime, Ben picks up key information from an unlikely source. This is a tightly knit, continually engrossing mystery, with a warm-hearted sleuth who deftly blends skills gleaned from prep school, Wall street and Leavenworth. (Feb.)
Library Journal
Veteran writer Scott introduces a new amateur sleuth in the person of Ben Abbott, an ex-con from a good family in Newbury, Connecticut, who sells real estate. Ben becomes embroiled in the repercussions of two murders after he agrees to videotape a wealthy woman and her lover for a disgruntled husband. Small-town loyalties, animosities, and peccadilloes charge the atmosphere with tension: time seems to fly as Ben toils to clear the woman of murder. Most collections should own this example of Scott's sure hand and deft touch.
Emily Melton
Thirtysomething yuppie Ben Abbott led a blemish-free life until he got caught in a Wall Street insider-trading scandal and landed in jail. Now that he's served his time, Ben, a nice guy at heart, is anxious to get back on the straight and narrow, so he's come home to Newbury, Connecticut, and set himself up as an energetic if not very successful real estate agent. Short of money and long on time, Ben is intrigued when a big-city private eye turns up to offer him a job. All Ben has to do is photograph an adulterous couple "in flagrante delicto" so the cuckolded but extremely rich husband can use the photo as evidence in a divorce suit. Naturally, things go awry, and suddenly Abbott is caught in a plot that gets more puzzling and perilous by the minute. The best thing about Scott's book is not the imaginative story or the entertaining goings-on in picturesque little Newbury or the intriguing cast of quirky characters he's created--even though these add up to a top-notch mystery. No, it's the subtle but absolutely sidesplitting humor that makes this book such a delight. Scott manages to tell a rip-roaring good tale of murder and treachery that keeps his readers simultaneously glued to their seats "and" rolling in the aisles.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780708933237
  • Publisher: Ulverscroft Large Print Books, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 5/28/1995
  • Series: Ulverscroft Large Print Ser.
  • Pages: 544

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