Daring thieves steal the 200-year-old Jade Lily from a Minneapolis
art museum and then offer to sell it back for one-third of its
insured value - $1,300,000. But there’s a catch. They demand
that unlicensed P. I. Rushmore McKenzie act as go-between.
McKenzie reluctantly agrees partly out of curiosity - why did
the thieves pick him to deliver the ransom? - and partly because
he feels he owes a favor to the insurance company that made him
a millionaire years earlier.
But when McKenzie makes contact with the thieves, he is bound,
gagged and tossed in the back of a speeding van. It turns out
there is a wide circle of misbegotten scoundrels who want the
Lily for themselves, including a Bosnian thug, the U. S. State
Department, a crooked cop, and a fortune hunter out of McKenzie’s
past. The game soon turns dark and violent and as the bodies
start piling up, McKenzie comes to believe the truth of the
Jade Lily’s curse - terrible death follows anyone who touches
wit is every bit as sharp as (Robert B.) Parker's, and as I read
along, I was chuckling to myself over bits of dialogue and acerbic
observations on MacKenzie's part... (it) has the snap and crackle
of great storytelling. I can't think of a better way to spend a
couple of evenings than curled up with a new David Housewright
novel. Check it out for yourself"
-- Killer Books
McKenzie mystery (see Highway 61) is a wonderful thriller... Filled
with humor and a strong cast... this is a fast-paced winner..."
-- The Mystery Gazette
who navigates a treacherous path just to stay (barely) alive,
not only delivers a Nick Charles–like ending but metes out poetic
justice to a fair number of participants."
-- Publishers Weekly
other entries in this entertaining series, the book is a
contemporary mystery with overtones from the era of classic
hard-boiled detectives: the Jade Lily itself, with its perhaps
not so mythical curse; the first-person narration; the wonderfully
named femme fatale, Heavenly Petryk. Rushmore is a likable series
hero, a guy who’d rather be doing not much of anything but who
won’t back down from a fight. The book works as a stand-alone,
too, so readers unfamiliar with the series can jump right in.