Sunday, March 18, 2007

"Carole on Lombard" by Jerry Kenneally

From: Mystery Street, ed. Robert J. Randisi, Signet, 2001.

Celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the Private Eye Writers of America (PWA), each story in this anthology is inspired by a distinctive street in the P.I.'s territory. For San Francisco P.I. Nick Polo, it's the serpentine Lombard Street. Polo breaks his routine of working for law firms to take on a case offered by Carole Reed, a rich, agoraphobic woman in her seventies who's taken to watching her neighbors through a telescope.

The neighbor she is currently most concerned about is "John," a well-endowed, promiscuous man whose exhibitionism pairs nicely with Carole's voyeurism. "John" has disappeared from his apartment and Carole offers Polo $5,000 to find out what happened to him.

A former San Francisco P.I. himself, Kenneally writes crisply and knowingly.

1 comment:

Graham said...

This was one of my favorite stories in the book - though Tom Sweeney's was the best. "Carole on Lombard" had a light touch and plenty of charm.