Saratoga Strongbox: A Charlie Bradshaw Mystery Starring Victor Plotz

Saratoga Strongbox: A Charlie Bradshaw Mystery Starring Victor Plotz

by Stephen Dobyns
     
 

Victor feels his wallet throb whenever anyone mentions a quick buck, so despite the fact that life is good and love is in the air, he agrees to collect a suspicious suitcase in Montreal for miserly old man Weber. "Opportunity," says Victor, "had whacked my gong." Unfortunately, when he decides to farm out the job to bumbling black belt Eddie Gillespie, he's soon… See more details below

Overview

Victor feels his wallet throb whenever anyone mentions a quick buck, so despite the fact that life is good and love is in the air, he agrees to collect a suspicious suitcase in Montreal for miserly old man Weber. "Opportunity," says Victor, "had whacked my gong." Unfortunately, when he decides to farm out the job to bumbling black belt Eddie Gillespie, he's soon embroiled in a fiasco involving two kneecapping thugs and a Amazon stripper who throws over Weber's hapless, overweight son for a jockey. Even more anxiety-provoking are Victor's fears that his girlfriend, Rosemary, "the Queen of Softness," has been stepping out with someone else. Saratoga Strongbox sets Victor and Charlie on the trail of every deadly sin from dirty money to outright murder.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The versatile and prolific Dobyns's solidly entertaining Charlie Bradshaw mystery series reaches its 10th volume ("Saratoga Fleshpot", 1995, etc.) in this amusing and farcical caper. As usual, Vic Plotz, friend of the Saratoga PI and always on the lookout for an easy buck, assumes the burden of narrating this tale, in which he gets himself and Charlie into a fine mess involving an ambitious mobster, an old-time money man and his bumbling, love-struck son, a couple of deliciously evil muscle men and a stripper who wears nothing but a snake. When Felix Weber approaches Vic with an opportunity to earn an easy $2000 (all he has to do is pick up a package in Montreal), Vic can't resist, even though he knows he can't do it. But he does know someone who can and willfor only $1000, leaving Vic with $1000 for doing nothing. Instead, this little scam sets off a ludicrous and hilarious chain of events that ensnarls Vic and Charlie in desperate troubles. The answer to their problems lies in a locked strongbox that seemingly holds the key to everyone else's problems as well. A climactic game of "hot potato" engineered by Charlie provides a wonderful capstone to this slapstick tale.
Library Journal
This tenth Charlie Bradshaw racetrack adventure by poet/novelist Dobyns ("Church of Dead Girls", LJ 5/1/97) begins when his sometime partner, Vic Plotz, agrees to pick up a mysterious suitcase in Montreal for a wealthy Saratoga entrepreneur. Ex-cop Charlie is soon investigating an assortment of strange characters, looking for a murderer. A good purchase.
Kirkus Reviews
It's that unblushing reprobate Victor Plotz who narrates the tenth of the Charlie Bradshaw 'Saratoga' novels ("Saratoga Fleshpot", 1995, etc.), which means a point of view unredeemed by anything resembling a moral stricture. Plotz, 65, with a libido ever young—ask his inamorata Rosemary Larkin, a.k.a. the Queen of Softness—has never seen the lofty principle he'd give the time of day. "I have always been the pal of easy money," he says. It's that kind of thinking that puts the wrong strongbox in Plotz's grasping hands, resulting in an open breach with a pair of mafia muscle guys determined to restore the box—fat with 250,000 in legal tender—to its rightful godfather. Inevitably, the disagreement also involves Charlie, a knight-errant in a porkpie hat and seriously rumpled clothes, who's as principled as Plotz is amoral. There's Charlie minding his own modest but impeccably honest p.i. business when Plotz sends out an SOS. Charlie can't ignore it'or, for that matter, anyone's SOS. So one thing leads to another and finally to a madcap chase with more people running around after the loaded strongbox than have gathered in a forest since 'As You Like It'. But that's when this very funny novel hits the snag that does it in, and the comedy turns to farce. And that's when readers will find themselves caring significantly less about what happens to Charlie and friends. Farce is the operative word here. It's like cold water thrown at readers half-mesmerized by a sure-handed storyteller: it wakes them up, breaks the spell. Farce is even riskier than satire, which, as everybody knows, is what closes on Saturday night.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780140280128
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date:
07/01/1999
Series:
Charlie Bradshaw Mysteries Series
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.86(h) x 0.51(d)

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