The Hours of the Virgin (Amos Walker Series #13)

The Hours of the Virgin (Amos Walker Series #13)

by Loren D. Estleman, John Kenneth

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Detroit is no place for virgins, or gentlemen. Walker, who is neither, follows the 50-year-old trail of a stolen manuscript across the bleak landscape of a dead city, coming face to face with the man who murdered his partner 20 years ago.See more details below


Detroit is no place for virgins, or gentlemen. Walker, who is neither, follows the 50-year-old trail of a stolen manuscript across the bleak landscape of a dead city, coming face to face with the man who murdered his partner 20 years ago.

Editorial Reviews

There are murders and attempted murders, and old and new crimes are intriguingly connected. A superb, can't-put-it-down read. If Charles Dickens had attempted to write mysteries, Estleman's oeuvre would have been the result.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Amos Walker, Detroit PI, revisits the past in the 13th entry in an estimable hard-boiled series (The Witchfinder, etc.). In the echoing, nearly empty galleries of the Detroit Institute of Arts, Walker agrees to accompany a curator on a private mission to recover a recently stolen medieval illuminated manuscript, the Hours of the title. But in the rundown skin-flick theater where the transaction is to take place, Walker is distracted by a young woman and then shot at. The curator, his package, the woman and shooter disappear. The woman turns out to be the young wife ("she was pushing twenty but not hard enough to dent it") of the theater owner, a notorious and wealthy porn king--and rare book collector--confined to a wheelchair. Also involved in the shooting is Earl North, the man who killed Walker's beloved first boss, Dale Leopold, 20 years before, a crime for which North went free. Vivid memories of Leopold combine with the debilitating effects of the flu and midwinter in Motor City to keep Walker on a bitter edge until, the flu broken and a connection between crimes old and new made, readers are led to the fitting conclusion. Like all Estleman offerings, this one comes with extraordinarily observant narration, intelligent dialogue, memorable characters--and style to spare. (Aug.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal - Library Journal
Estleman's redoubtable private eye Amos Walker returns in this tale of a lost medieval illuminated manuscript that he is hired to recover. Very much in the Sam Spade-Philip Marlowe mold, Amos walks the mean streets of Detroit, snarling and sneering but occasionally revealing his heart of gold. As is true of many of Estleman's books (Edsel), the plot is a bit convoluted and somewhat implausible, but he leaves no loose ends, and the description of Amos's closure in the death of his partner 20 years before is downright touching. The novel is replete with odd and curious similes, which when heard tend to send the listener off into a bemused line of thought. And given the hard-boiled nature of all the characters, the missing commodity might more reasonably have been a kilo of heroin or the loot from some jewel heist; a genteel artifact like a manuscript seems unlikely to have engaged these folks. The stellar performance of John Kenneth makes one wonder if the range of voices can be too good--the listener has to adapt constantly to wildly differing and wonderfully realized accents and inflections, and the relentless tough-guy reading of Amos sometimes sacrifices the sense of the words. But it's a good yarn, appropriately read, sure to be popular with Estleman fans and others who enjoy this genre.--Harriet Edwards, East Meadow P.L., NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
Marilyn Stasio
Estleman's skill in inhabiting multiple time frames brings a mournful perspective to a case that opens on a classy note, with the disappearance of a curator of medieval art and an illuminated manuscript in his care.
The New York Times Book Review
Estleman does an excellent job of linking the present story with the past ones in a believable way, so the case takes off quickly in a nice blend of realism and suspense. His fans will certainly want to collect this one.
The Mystery Review
Kirkus Reviews
A bored Amos Walker, Estleman's long-running p.i. (Never Street, 1997, etc.) who tosses off enough one-liners to glut even the Private Eye Writers of America, is waiting for a chance to drop a wisecrack on someone, anyone. When the phone rings, it's the longed-for someone: Stodgy lawyer Stuart Lund wants to hire Walker on behalf of a friend, the legendary architect Jay Bell Furlong, who is dying of cancer and has perhaps just two weeks left in which to right a wrong that has him on the rack. And Walker's job is to track down a. witchfinder. A what? Well, during the 17th century when in places like Salem hunting witches was the favored form of scapegoating, you still couldn't just hang one willy-nilly. Scintillas of proof were required. Thus, fabricating evidence amounted to a cottage industry, and witch-hunters, we're told, subcontracted this work to witchfinders. Eight years earlier, Furlong had been sent a damning photograph a picture of his young and beautiful fiance in bed with another man. The engagement was broken, but Furlong now knows the photo was doctored by a contemporary witchfinder. So Walker sets off on his mission, and a bumpy ride it turns out to be. But what's a p.i. novel without bumps and bruises? And bottles and blonds? And buckets of one-liners to brighten life for the dour? A brisk, savvy number, but for the true measure of Estleman's talent, search out his four-book Detroit crime cycle especially the opener, Whiskey River (1990).

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Product Details

Brilliance Audio
Publication date:
Amos Walker Series, #13
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
4.33(w) x 7.13(h) x 1.72(d)

Meet the Author

Winner of three Shamus Awards for his Amos Walker novels, four Golden Spur Awards for Western fiction, three Western Heritage Awards, and many other awards for his other fiction, Loren D. Estleman has also been nominated for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. Poison Blonde (2003) was his fifty-first novel. He and his wife, author Deborah Morgan, live outside Detroit, Michigan.

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