Splitting Heirs

Overview

Rick Hanson sends ex-Marine, ex-cop, and still-struggling sculptor McCleet into a case that's downright fishy from the start.... Graden Porcelli, the eccentric Salmon King of Oregon, has come up with a unique way of hiring Adam McCleet to investigate a murder - he makes him a beneficiary in his will. Porcelli claims that a killer will be among the people present when his videotaped last-will-and-testament is viewed. Porcelli will give Adam an equal share of an estate (that comes to a little over $15 million) if ...
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Overview

Rick Hanson sends ex-Marine, ex-cop, and still-struggling sculptor McCleet into a case that's downright fishy from the start.... Graden Porcelli, the eccentric Salmon King of Oregon, has come up with a unique way of hiring Adam McCleet to investigate a murder - he makes him a beneficiary in his will. Porcelli claims that a killer will be among the people present when his videotaped last-will-and-testament is viewed. Porcelli will give Adam an equal share of an estate (that comes to a little over $15 million) if Adam can discover which heir is the guilty party. There's just one problem. Porcelli doesn't name the victim or even tell Adam when or where the crime took place. Adam has just one month to figure it all out and find the perpetrator. If he fails, he doesn't get a dime. His chances? Slim to none. The odds may be against him, but having to scrape the bottom of his checking account each month to pay his mortgage makes Adam game for almost anything. Except maybe his man-eating sister Margot. His much-married sibling has gotten wind of Adam's windfall and shows up to offer her unwanted help just in time for a real murder: an exploding golf ball puts one of the heirs six feet under...par. The death during a tournament is a stroke of evil genius that leaves just six people to share the estate. And leaves Adam to ask the classic question, cui bono? (who benefits?) Who else? The other beneficiaries.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Too cute by half, Hanson's latest book about Oregon sculptor and ex-cop Adam McCleet (after Spare Parts, Mortal Remains and Still Life) is flat and forced. The narrating McCleet isn't nearly as funny as he thinks he is. An admitted slacker, McCleet seems to have as little passion for art ("I love sculpting, but it's hard to stay at it when I don't know where the next mortgage payment is coming from") as he did for his former job on the Portland PD ("In my opinion, my job as a cop was: A. Survival. B. Catching bad guys. C. Following orders. In that order."). Here, McCleet goes after a share of the $15 million estate left by the dearly departed Graden Porcelli, aka the salmon king. All he has to do to get his money is find out which one of the other six heirs got away with murder sometime in the past. With scarcely a clue (not even the identity of the victim) to go on, McCleet lurches off to grill the suspects: the salmon king's widow, who tauntingly mispronounces McCleet's name in many variations; the dead man's son; his nephew; his niece; his plant manager; and his former partner. The plot is fluffy, the characters insubstantial and the setting irrelevant. Hanson intends McCleet's voice to be funny and winning enough to carry readers along anyway. It's not. (Aug.)
Library Journal
The latest addition to the Adam McCleet series (e.g., Still Life, LJ 6/1/96) proceeds with all due dispatch through a tangled terrain marked by humor, raucous action, and nonstop adventure. McCleet, an Oregon cop-turned-sculptor, hopes to earn his one-seventh share of a $15 million bequest by proving that one of the other heirs committed murder. As new murders occur amidst exploding golf balls, falling decks, and sinking ships, Adam struggles to find the essential clues that will lead to the murderer. The usual cast of crazy characters adds to the entertainment. Recommended.
Kirkus Reviews
The process server whom becalmed sculptor Adam McCleet has been avoiding isn't trying to repossess Adam's chattels; he's notifying him that he's due for a legacy under the terms of late salmon king Graden Porcelli's will. But the terms of the will—Adam's due for equal shares with Porcelli's other six heirs if only he can get evidence that'll produce an indictment in an unsolved murder, victim and date unspecified—almost make Adam wish it had been a repo man on his doorstep. The sad fact is that the other six heirs—Porcelli's batty widow Amelia, his Tourette's-afflicted son Harrison, his dimwit nephew Sam, his quiet niece Tia, his salty old partner Tiger Jorgenson, and his veteran plant manager Whit Parkens—seem to have a very short shelf life, and as Adam's stake in the Porcelli fortune spurts up (it starts at million and rises with each demise of his fellow-heirs), his chance of reaching payday approaches the vanishing point. Adam's only hope is to solve the 40-year-old murder of Porcelli's onetime benefactor Harold Mann—if Mann was murdered, if there's any evidence after all this time, if this is even the murder the salmon king had in mind. Meantime, Adam will have to contend with such minor setbacks as getting stuck with the Celebrity Hotel's Anthony Perkins room.

Not as funny as Adam's first three cases (Still Life, 1996, etc.)—but the unaccustomed attention to the suspect heirs helps focus Hanson's bustling energy.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781575663654
  • Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 12/1/1998
  • Series: Adam McCleet Mystery Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 255
  • Product dimensions: 4.19 (w) x 6.91 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Table of Contents

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