HARLAN COBEN calls it "One of my all-time favorite series! ...David Handler is so good at writing one smart, funny page-turner after another that he makes it look easy."
Fans of JANET EVANOVICH and CARL HIAASEN, get ready. If you haven't yet discovered wisecracking sleuth Stewart "Hoagy" Hoag and his faithful basset hound Lulu, you're in for a sharp, hilarious treat.
Once upon a time, Hoagy had it all: a hugely successful debut novel, a gorgeous celebrity wife, the glamorous world of New York City at his feet. These days, he scrapes by as a celebrity ghostwriter. A celebrity ghostwriter who finds himself investigating murders more often than he'd like.
And once upon a time, Richard Aintree was the most famous writer in America high school students across the country read his one and only novel, a modern classic on par with The Catcher in the Rye. But after his wife's death, Richard went into mourning... and then into hiding. No one has heard from him in twenty years.
Until now. Richard Aintree — or someone pretending to be Richard Aintree — has at last reached out to his two estranged daughters. Monette is a lifestyle queen à la Martha Stewart whose empire is crumbling; and once upon a time, Reggie was the love of Hoagy's life. Both sisters have received mysterious typewritten letters from their father.
Hoagy is already on the case, having been hired to ghostwrite a tell-all book about the troubled Aintree family. But no sooner does he set up shop in the pool house of Monette's Los Angeles mansion than murder strikes. With Lulu at his side — or more often cowering in his shadow — it's up to Hoagy to unravel the mystery, catch the killer, and pour himself that perfect single-malt Scotch... before it's too late.
About the Author
David Handler has written eleven novels about the witty and dapper celebrity ghostwriter Stewart Hoag and his faithful, neurotic basset hound, Lulu, including the Edgar- and American Mystery Award-winning The Man Who Would Be F. Scott Fitzgerald. His other series include the Berger/Mitry franchise and two novels featuring private eye Benji Golden. David was a member of the original writing staff that created the Emmy Award-winning sitcom Kate and Allie, and has continued to write extensively for television and films on both coasts. He lives in a 200-year-old carriage house in Old Lyme, Connecticut.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Hoagie's voice and Lulu's breath are wonders to behold. It's not the plots, it's the people. Read this, then read the others. It'll be the most fun you've had in years.
Great read. Laughed out loud. Witty repartee. Already ordered my next one. Highly recommend.
There's no clear consensus in the book world of what constitutes historical fiction but, for me personally, there are two types. One is the novel that was written, say, fifty years ago and, at the time, it was contemporary, not historical, because the author was writing about his own time. Today, that same novel is historical because the setting is fifty years ago. The second type is set in a time period fifty years ago (using an arbitrary time designation) but written by an author writing in the present time. Confusing? Absolutely it is but, bottomline, historical fiction means something different to each reader. I bring this up because this story takes place in 1992, too recent for me to consider it historical, but there are a lot of references to the characters' pasts, as far back as the 60's, and that does make it largely historical. It also has the feel of a 1940's piece with the disillusioned detective and flashy dames, so, for me, The Girl with Kaleidoscope Eyes fits the bill. Hoagy is a likeable fella at least partly because he's so normal---goodlooking without being overtly gorgeous, kind of at loose ends professionally, appreciates women in a nice way, adores his basset hound, Lulu. When he's approached about taking on this ghostwriting job, he's very reluctant at first and for very good reasons but he deals with one particular reason and soon finds himself in Monette's glitzy Los Angeles world and in the midst of murder and mayhem, the longest three days of his life. Has this recluse really surfaced? Why? And how do these issues fit in with the body count? Oh, and Lulu? Now, this is a dog you can't help loving, starting with her first plate of fried shrimp ;-) I've never read any of the previous Stewart Hoag mysteries (8 of 'em!), not for any reason other than too many books, too little time but Hoagy and Lulu appeal to me so much that I want to rectify that ASAP.
What a Fun Read. I was a First Read Winner of this book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I liked the characters, both the 4 and especially the 2 legged kind, and the storyline which had me hooked right from the beginning. It was nice to revisit the 1990, and looking back the time seemed so much simpler then, it had plenty of colorful characters, action, mystery and romance, and even though I thought I had figured out who done it, I still had guessed wrong on the overall outcome. David Handler has a new fan in me and I want to read all the previous books in the series. I hope that there will be more books to come because I really enjoyed the mystery solving duo of Stewie and Lulu.