Opening line: "IT WAS RAINING WHEN THEY ROLLED ME OUT OF the big Lincoln and into the ditch"
I picked up Yellow Dog Party after spotting it at the local friends of the library sale. There was just something that called out for me to pick it up, and I am glad that I did. What's it about? well---
From Publishers Weekly (via Amazon)The hard-boiled, wisecracking detective with a heart of gold is alive (just barely) and not well at all when we first meet him in this clever, well-paced mystery. Hired by four area businessmen to locate the women of their dreams, Seattle private eye Thomas Black (last seen in Deviant Behavior ) soon finds himself up a tree, nearly lynched, by three thugs in Miss Piggy masks. What began as a routine--if somewhat odd--case immediately becomes for Black a cause. Determined to ferret out the identities of the hangmen to settle his own vendetta while on a case tracking down the "dream woman" who got him into trouble with them in the first place, he uncovers long-buried secrets that quickly lead to murder. Emerson, a lieutenant with the Seattle fire department, doesn't miss a beat in carving out his detective's niche in the genre: from the stunning sidekick--Black is much too proud to admit his love for her--to the missing woman's abandoned daughters--whom he takes in and comes to adore--we see a man who is far more than just some remote sleuth out to get a job done.
It's safe to say that I devoured this book, with it's driving narrative, quick wit and the Pacific Northwest setting. The Pacific Northwest is one of my favorite parts of the country, and while I haven't made it to the coasts I really want to go back out that way. There is a flavor of the culture of that area in the book, a sensibility that is at once the last remnants of the old west, but tempered with a sustainable way of life. I loved the smart ass patter from our hero Thomas, which is some of the best I have run across in a while. This is the first Emerson I have read, but it won't be my last.