Rest for the Wicked (Jane Lawless Series #20)

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Overview

DeAndre Moore came to Minneapolis from St. Louis with a purpose, but things aren’t going as he planned. When it becomes clear he’s in way over his head, DeAndre can think of only one person to call for help—his Uncle Nolan’s business partner, newly licensed private investigator Jane Lawless. However, by the time Jane listens to his voice mail, she’s hearing a voice from beyond the grave—DeAndre left the message only minutes before he was knifed to death outside a gentlemen’s ...

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Rest for the Wicked (Jane Lawless Series #20)

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Overview

DeAndre Moore came to Minneapolis from St. Louis with a purpose, but things aren’t going as he planned. When it becomes clear he’s in way over his head, DeAndre can think of only one person to call for help—his Uncle Nolan’s business partner, newly licensed private investigator Jane Lawless. However, by the time Jane listens to his voice mail, she’s hearing a voice from beyond the grave—DeAndre left the message only minutes before he was knifed to death outside a gentlemen’s club. Soon his murder isn’t the only one.

With Nolan in the hospital, Jane sets out to find out who killed DeAndre, how his death is connected with the others, and what he was doing in Minneapolis in the first place.

Rest for the Wicked is another outstanding addition to Ellen Hart’s award-winning mystery series.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Hart’s absorbing 20th mystery featuring Minneapolis restaurant owner Jane Lawless (after 2011’s The Lost Women of Lost Lake), Jane looks into the stabbing death of DeAndre Moore, the nephew of Alf Nolan, whose PI agency employs Jane as a fledgling partner. When a dishwasher at GaudyLights, the upscale strip club outside of which Moore was knifed, confesses to the crime, the Minneapolis police close the case. Already distracted by her problematic restaurants and her continually evolving lesbian relationships, Jane nonetheless marshals her considerable energy and wits to uncover a string of connected murders that began in St. Louis more than 30 years earlier. The answers to the killings may lie within the confines of the strip club and in the hands of its smarmy owner, Vince Bessetti, whose questionable relationships are explored in blistering detail. A host of complex characters—all living full, rich, and dangerous lives—bolsters the brisk, suspenseful story. Agent: Deborah Schneider, Gelfman Schneider Literary. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
Rest for the Wicked

“Absorbing. . .A host of complex characters—all living full, rich, and dangerous lives—bolsters the brisk, suspenseful story.”

Publishers Weekly

The Lost Women of Lost Lake

“Engaging”

Publishers Weekly

“This engrossing, thought-provoking entry by a Lambda and Minnesota Book Award winner proves that long-running series don't have to lose steam.”

Library Journal

The Cruel Ever After

“One of the strengths of Hart's acclaimed series (this is the 18th book) is that the rich details about food, family and place never undermine the swift pacing of her plots. Readers feel so much a part of Jane's world that we'd fight for a table at the Lyme House Restaurant in Minneapolis just for a taste of Jane's corned beef and cabbage.”

Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN)

Library Journal
Armed with her newly minted PI license, Jane spreads her wings in this wintry Twin Cities case involving the nephew of her business partner, Nolan. The long-running series (after The Lost Women of Lost Lake) mines the world of identities and betrayal.
Kirkus Reviews
Her partner's enforced stay in the hospital won't stop a newly minted private eye from investigating the murder of his nephew. Now that she's officially licensed as a private investigator, Jane Lawless is ready to get down to the business of, well, investigating rather than focusing on managing the club and restaurant she owns. If only her first case didn't involve her partner, A.J. Nolan, whose government name is "Alfonse Jasper." Nolan needs help when his nephew, DeAndre Moore, is knifed outside of GaudyLights, Minneapolis' local strip joint. The bullet lodged for some time in Nolan's back has begun to migrate at an unfortunate time, leaving him bedridden and unable to investigate. GaudyLights isn't quite what Jane was expecting. Owner Vince Bessetti tries to convince Jane to buy into the business; friendly law student/stripper Georgia gets a little too friendly; and the club's food service is run by Shanice Williams, the cook Jane fired from her own kitchens. The murder appears solved when club dishwasher Elvio Ramos steps forward to take the blame, but a little digging from Jane suggests that there's more to the story. She relies on the help of bartender Avi Greenberg to flesh out the situation a bit more, but since it's been some time since Jane had a main squeeze, her mind is soon on Avi's flesh itself. Jane's closest companion, theater guru Cordelia Thorn, is in rare form, throwing out sassy one-liners as if she were on the stage rather than in the wings. Giving Jane more spark than readers have seen in a while, Hart (The Lost Women of Lost Lake, 2011, etc.) brings new life to an aging series and hope for future installments.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781250001863
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 10/2/2012
  • Series: Jane Lawless Series , #20
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,364,251
  • Product dimensions: 5.82 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.05 (d)

Meet the Author

ELLEN HART, “a top novelist in the cultishly popular gay mystery genre” (Entertainment Weekly), is also a Lambda and Minnesota Book Award winner. The author of nineteen previous mysteries featuring Jane Lawless, she lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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Read an Excerpt

1

 

 

After tossing back one last vodka shooter, DeAndre Moore tore through the crowded strip club, certain that the knee breaker who was hot on his heels would send him to the hospital if he didn’t get lost—and fast. He’d come early to have himself a couple of drinks and try to calm down. Tonight was the night. Either she would leave with him or … or what? Would he really turn her over to the cops? Did he have that right?

As soon as Sabrina stepped onto the nightclub floor and saw him, she walked straight to one of the goons stationed at the front door, pointed back at DeAndre, and said a few quick words. Time to bounce, he thought. He’d catch up with her later.

He took off running, dodging this way and that around the tables, thinking that if he could just put some distance between himself and the hired muscle he could make it to the kitchen, where he knew there was an exit out to the alley. Making a mad dash for a pair of swinging doors, he pushed inside. One of the line cooks thrust a knife at him and shouted, “Get the hell out of here.”

DeAndre plunged out the back door into the frigid night air, hearing a click as the door shut and locked behind him. That would be enough for the knee breaker. He merely wanted him out, with as little fuss as possible. The front door, his only way back in, would be barred for the rest of the night.

Standing in the dank, narrow alley, trying to catch his breath, he cursed himself for ever coming to Minneapolis. He should have stayed in St. Louis, minded his own business, let her sink or swim on her own. Yet when it became clear what she’d done, he couldn’t let it drop. He loved her. She’d always looked out for him, and now it was time he returned the favor. Even more, Sabrina held the key to his past. She’d been dangling it over his head for years, and he was sick of it. He’d come for an answer. One way or the other, he intended to get it.

Passing several Dumpsters, he moved to the edge of the sidewalk. The snow was coming down so hard that he could barely make out the buildings across the street. For the last four nights, he’d been staying in a downtown hotel, an outlay of money he could ill afford. It had taken him months to track Sabrina to Minneapolis. Checking out the local strip bars had been the next logical step. He’d found her at GaudyLights, persuaded her to meet up for lunch the next day. Though they talked easily, just like old times, she refused to open up. He came back to the club that night, and the next, and the one after that. He’d smiled a lot, tried to talk to her when she was not busy. Drinks flowed freely.

Just before closing last night, she’d whispered in his ear. “You want to know what happened? Why I left St. Louis in such a big hurry? Here it is. I did it. He deserved it. And I’m not done.” She walked away from him and left him sitting there, stunned. He’d been so sure she would offer an explanation that would somehow make it all right. Instead, she’d admitted to a cold-blooded murder.

Now he was here, standing at the edge of a dark alley, unsure what to do. Removing his cell from his jacket, he fished inside his shirt pocket for the business card his uncle had given him. He held it up, tipped it this way and that until he could read the number at the bottom. Punching it in, he waited, hoping the call would be answered by a real live human. Instead, he was put through to voice mail.

Fixing his eyes on the driving snow, he said, “This message is for Jane Lawless. You don’t know me. My name is DeAndre Moore. I need to talk to you. I can meet you anywhere you want, just name it. So you know, my uncle is Alf Nolan, your partner. He told me that if I ever needed any help and he wasn’t around, that I should call you. Since this is a … a private matter, and he’s family, I need you to keep this quiet.” Here, he paused. “I’m desperate, Ms. Lawless. There’s someone I know … someone I love … who’s in bad trouble. I’m trusting you, okay? I need you to help me figure out what’s going on before someone else gets killed. Anyway, that’s enough over the phone. Hey … what—”

DeAndre felt a sudden fierce sting in his shoulder. Dropping the cell to the concrete, he whirled around, only to feel a second sharp thrust enter his gut. He doubled over, pitching backward against the bricks. A warm, sticky liquid oozed into his hand. In the darkness, he could barely make out the face of the person standing over him. “You’re—”

“Shut up.”

His thoughts began to scramble. “Why?” he whispered.

“You stick your nose in where it don’t belong.”

“No,” he repeated, feeling suddenly weak.

“At least you die like a man. That’s more than you would give me.”

 

Copyright © 2012 by Ellen Hart

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