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The Angel Gang : A Hickey Family Mystery
It is the winter of 1949: Tom and Wendy Hickey are at peace in their Lake Tahoe cabin awaiting the birth of their first child. Wendy is young and delicate and her unworldly innocence and faith in her angels provide her with a stronger shield against evil than Toms devotion and the gun he sometimes carries.
The final book of Kuhlken's WW II trilogy, begun with The Loud Adios , which won the publisher's Best First PI Novel Award in 1991, is set in the 1951 world of hot jazz, hard-boiled fiction and black-and-white television. PI Tom Hickey, who plays jazz saxophone and clarinet, has set off from his Tahoe, Nev., cabin and his sweet, slightly slow, pregnant wife Wendy to investigate the murder charge against Cynthia Tucker Jones, an old girlfriend, in San Diego. Hickey's involvement sets off a chain of kidnappings which endanger the lives of his Tahoe neighbor, a casino owner; his former partner, 70-year-old Leo Weiss; Wendy; their unborn child; and a collection of ne'er-do-wells. During Hickey's travels from snowbound Tahoe to sunny San Diego and back, Weiss has his nails plucked out, his kneecaps cracked and eyelids slashed, while Wendy is dragged through the woods by two thugs. The angels of the title intercede to save most, but not all, of the worthy characters in this gritty, brutal tale, which is tenderized by the PI's near palpable devotion to his wife. (Aug.)
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Poisoned Pen Press
September 14, 2007
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