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The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age

Overview

The brash and resourceful St. Paul private investigator Holland Taylor takes on an unpromising embezzlement case - an elderly woman has been cheated out of her life savings. But when Taylor tracks down Levering Field, the unscrupulous businessman who handled her investments, he finds that more is at stake - Mrs. Gustafson's financial ruin is only one strand in a spider's web of fraud and intrigue. With the help of his elegant attorney lady love and an eccentric computer-genius friend, Taylor starts probing under ...
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1987-06-12 Hardcover New The item is from a closeout sale from bookstore. A great book in new condition! Inquires welcomed and we want your complete satisfaction! Eligible for ... FREE Super Saving Shipping! Fast Amazon shipping plus a hassle free return policy mean your satisfaction is guaranteed! Tracking number provided in your Amazon account with every order. Item is Brand New! Ships from AMAZON in SHRINK WRAP! Read more Show Less

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Overview

The brash and resourceful St. Paul private investigator Holland Taylor takes on an unpromising embezzlement case - an elderly woman has been cheated out of her life savings. But when Taylor tracks down Levering Field, the unscrupulous businessman who handled her investments, he finds that more is at stake - Mrs. Gustafson's financial ruin is only one strand in a spider's web of fraud and intrigue. With the help of his elegant attorney lady love and an eccentric computer-genius friend, Taylor starts probing under cover into Field's activities and soon finds that someone seems anxious to derail his investigation. The game quickly becomes serious when Field is found shot to death and Taylor first is suspected of the crime and than is shot at himself. Frightened at the dangerously widening net but determined to get answers, Taylor follows a trail to computer records that reveal a list of prominent people with large investments in Field's operations. Millions of dollars are at stake, as well as the reputations of the most powerful people in the Cities. As a hired killer pursues him, Taylor races to put together the last pieces of the puzzle, find the money, and catch the people who are willing to do anything to stop him.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
PI Holland Taylor is a former cop with an African American associate who covers his back, a high-level friend on the police force and a very smart lady who tries to keep him on the straight path. He also practices martial arts, brews exotic coffee and favors a special brand of local beer. But Housewrightwho won an Edgar for best first novel with Taylor's debut in Penance 1996does more than merely echo Robert B. Parker's Spenser in this second episode: he tells a good story in a setting he makes his own. Taylor works out of Minnesota's Twin Cities, far from Boston; the black associate is Freddie Sidney Poitier Fredricks, a venal and definitely downscale PI who wouldn't last two minutes up against Parker's Hawk. The cop friend keeps tossing Taylor into jail. The lady is Cynthia Grey, a lawyer who used to be a stripper. Taylor's martial arts practices may well compensate for his slight build. Housewright's plot is as open-faced as his genial homage. Asked by his father to help an 85-year-old neighbor recover the life savings stolen from her by Levering Field, an oily investment counselor, Taylor uses a cross-dressing computer genius to harass the swindler. But just as Field is ready to cave in, he's found deadand somebody with very good aim is also shooting at Taylor. Housewright's wit, while making the most of the bow to Parker, should earn him an acclaim all his own. Nov.
Library Journal
When and how did the Dutch become Dutch? At the start of the 16th century, they possessed neither common political heritage, religion, nor tongue. ``The most extraordinary invention of this country . . . was its own culture,'' says Schama. He catalogs the elements of the Dutchman's identity. His gluttony, obsession with cleanliness, pursuit of wealth, love of family and children, and enshrinement of the home all point to dichotomies and ambivalences that shaped Dutch character. The Dutch sought a way to safeguard themselves from a fall from grace while permitting them to enjoy the bounteous benefits of the material world. The Scriptures set the framework for this discourse, humanist teachings shaped their answers. A satisfying addition to the growing literature on sensibilities in the early modern era. Recommended. David Keymer, Dean of Students, SUNY Coll. of Technology, Utica
Library Journal
Brian Emerson returns with a deadpan Dragnet reading as Holland Taylor. This PI caper opens with a series of trite high school pranks as Hollands first attempt to squeeze out the embezzler of elderly Mrs. Gustafsons life savings. Millions of dollars and the reputations of high-profile Twin Cities citizens are at stake as a hired gun stalks Holland and key suspects Levering and Amanda Field. Housewright does a meager job of characterizing Taylor and Cynthia Gray, Taylors love interest cum lawyer, while others are left with cardboard personalities. Recommended only where recorded PI stories are very popular.Sandy Glover, West Linn P.L., OR
Kirkus Reviews
When you're in business to bilk sweet old widows out of their life savings, you deserve whatever happens to you. So when St. Paul shamus Holland Taylor's parents ask him to go after the $287,000 that trusting Irene Gustafson gave to investments counselor Levering Field, and when Field and his smiling attorney Monica Adler tell Taylor that Mrs. Gustafson will be dead long before a court ever orders him to pay her a penny—and besides, he's prudently placed all his assets in his teenaged daughter's name—he figures he's well within his rights in ruining Field's life. And that's what he and his cross-dressing computer-expert friend Steve (a.k.a. Sara) VanderTop set out to do. Some of their harassments are ingenious, others merely satisfyingly petty, but soon they've got Field crying uncle. Sadly, that's practically the last thing he does cry before Taylor, followed closely by the cops, stumbles over his dead body. Homicide chief Lt. Anne Scalasi turns Taylor loose when he can prove an alibi, but his troubles are just beginning. For one thing, somebody's shooting at him, too—and with the same .32 that killed Field; for another, he's getting a double dose of all the dirty tricks, from unwanted pizza deliveries to threatening phone calls, that he pulled on Field. With Field dead, who could be looking for revenge? And who could possibly want both Field and Taylor dead?

Housewright follows up his Edgar-winning debut (Penance, 1995) with a greased-lightning tale of scam and counterscam that's still bubbling merrily when the fat lady sings.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780394510750
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/28/1987
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 698
  • Product dimensions: 7.05 (w) x 9.55 (h) x 1.61 (d)

Meet the Author

Simon Schama
Simon Schama

Simon Schama is University Professor of Art History and History at Columbia University; a bestselling, prize-winning author and broadcaster; and an art critic and cultural essayist for The New Yorker whose writing has also appeared regularly in The New Republic, The Guardian, and The New York Review of Books.

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