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The beautiful and frivolous wife of a plantation owner in antebellum Louisiana, proves unsatisfactory at running the household, leading her serious-minded husband to enlist the help of her unmarried sister.
Joel Sloane is a rare book dealer and part time detective. He finds stolen or lost rare books for the insurance companies and gets a reward for their return. But this is a little different. Otto Brockler, a rare book dealer with questionable ethics, has been murdered. The list of suspects is long. Ned, who Otto sent to prison to get insurance money and keep him away from Leah. Leah, who is in love with the falsely convicted Ned. Elias, a silent partner in stolen and forged books. Sydney, a master forger of rare books. Julia, Otto's secretary who has expensive clothes and jewelry. Joel is the one who must find the murderer before he becomes the next victim. Written by
Tony Fontana <email@example.com>
The first and, in my humble opinion, the best of the three Joel & Garda Sloane mysteries. Others have compared the three "Fast" movies to The Thin Man series. Its only real similarity is the snappy exchanges between husband and wife. Joel is gainfully employed with his own rare books business and well known locally as an expert in the field. Garda works with him. Neither Nick or Nora did much other than live off of Nora's inheritance. I particularly enjoyed Florence Rice more in the Garda role than either Ann Sothern or Rosiland Russell. She is fairly rarely the butt of Joel's "jokes" like Nora is. Douglas and Rice are a little more "down to earth" than the other two couples.
If you are a mystery series fan this is well worth the hour and ten minutes and much better than most of the '30s and '40s mystery series. Don't expect to be culturally enriched but you will be entertained.
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