When Old Men Dieby Bill Crider
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Truman "Tru" Smith is a PI who'd rather be reading Faulkner or fishing on his beloved Galveston Island than solving mysteries, so when his friend Dino asks for help, Tru at first demurs. With some not-very-subtle arm twisting, Dino finally persuades Tru to investigate the disappearance of Old Harry, a homeless vagrant whom Dino and his family have "adopted." Tru makes some half-hearted efforts to find the old geezer--who Tru figures probably disappeared because he felt like it--but only succeeds in getting shot at, doused in the Gulf, and bopped on the head. Of course, these events not only make Tru cross, they also rouse his suspicions about why somebody is so determined to keep him from finding out the real reasons for Old Harry's disappearance. It's not long before Tru discovers that some very nasty business is going on--business that isn'tin the best interests of Tru's island.
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Outside Harry, one of Galveston's most famous vagrants, has gone missing. Dino calls Truman in to search for him - and there the trouble begins. Soon Tru's been shot at, beaten up, threatened and double-crossed. With his usual persistence, wry humour, determination and selflessness - Tru' throws himself into the mystery and uncovers a tangled web of relationships, past crimes, inheritances and schemes all centered around the return of gambling to the Island. If you want a clever crime thriller that seems to amble along but constantly throws up fresh challenges, always staying half a clue ahead of the game - then the Truman Smith Msyteries are definite must-reads.
Haven't quite finished it yet, but it is very good.
There are five in the Truman Smith series and they are all good. Each one gets better. He's an excellent writer.