Thursday, April 22, 2010

FFB: Yellow Dog Party

FFB: Yellow Dog Party by Earl Emerson

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.


Anonymous said...


pattinase (abbott) said...

Just got interested in him due to all the posts by Naomi Johnson. And here he is.

Naomi Johnson said...

I love seeing someone else appreciate this author as much as I do. Good review!