Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Shanks on Misdirection by Robert Lopresti

I've just gotten into Robert Lopresti's long running Shanks series, and they're quite cool. The main character, Leopold Longshanks is a professional mystery writer and more than a little crumudgeonly. In the last story I reviewed, Shanks skewered a self-published author. In this one, he has troubles with writer of nasty reviews and a cozy writer who prefers to be called a "traditional" mystery writer. When the cozy writer's husband talks about having his ATM card eaten by the machine, Shanks suspects something more sinister than a simple ATM malfunction.

In any event, the mystery of this story is relatively slight (though those not knowledgeable of short cons might take a tip or two here) but the story makes up for that in attitude. Shanks and his wife have a healthy back and forth as does Shanks and just about anybody else. Getting back at the reviewer is a nice extra in the story.

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