RogerBW's Blog

Deep Pockets, Linda Barnes 29 November 2022

2004 mystery, tenth in the Carlotta Carlyle series (neo-noir private investigation). A very paranoid Harvard professor is being blackmailed; he hires Carlotta to sort it out.

And things gradually get worse: he's being blackmailed over an affair with a student; the student is now dead; it was suicideā€¦ and he has a complicated wife, and of course Harvard's first priority is always to avoid scandal.

This is a good crunchy mystery with multiple pieces of evidence gradually contributing to the overall picture. Apparent inconsistencies are resolved in a way that makes sense. Everything flows, as it should, from the personalities of the people involved: this is someone who would commit that kind of crime in that manner.

Dowling hadn't shown area burglars much respect with his choice of locks. Really, my high school locker's combination lock had been about as good as the thing on the garage door. It took me under two minutes, and that's not bragging, because a real thief would have been home in under a minute.

There are side notes of drug discovery and the commercial spinoffs of research; there's a bit of Paolina; Carlotta continues to make relationship mistakes while trying to work out what's going wrong. There's a relative lack of action, but I still found myself engaged by the basic business of information gathering and synthesis, something Barnes always does very well.

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Previous in series: The Big Dig | Series: Carlotta Carlyle | Next in series: Heart of the World

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