This is the second in the Aloysius Archer series and took a while to get going.
Having not read the first (One Good Deed) I was glad of the introduction at the beginning as this was a new character to me.
Set in the late 1940s after the War, there was a lot of descriptive background as if to remind us why there was no modern technology and attitudes were the way they were.
On the way to his ‘job interview’ as a PI, Archer meets up with Liberty Callahan, a young talented woman with her eyes set on making it big in Hollywood. The story involves her as an aside rather than a main lead, but this may well change in subsequent novels.
Following the death of the Major, there are two candidates in the running, one being the son in law of a wealthy individual. Someone is trying to discredit him with rumours of an affair, and Archer and his boss are hired to investigate who is behind it.
Our hero got worked over for asking questions to the wrong people and the first of two murders as mentioned on the cover blurb didn’t happen until half way through (P290 of 582). The second followed shortly after. Add more background of property types, fashions and a couple of previous suspicious deaths thrown in for good measure, it gradually started to gain pace at chapter 60 (of 71) and I finished it at half past midnight.
There was a twist I hadn’t thought about in quite the same way, but I had correctly sussed who was running the town, though not why which wasn’t explained until the final few chapters. Basically it all came down to money and control.
I got vibes of the early Reacher books and Aloysius Archer is not exactly a cross between Magnum and Columbo, though this was the beginning of his PI career so the author is laying the groundwork for this new series.
Quite an enjoyable read, especially those last chapters, so a good 7 IMO.