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Manslaughter by Parnell Hall
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0786711272, Hardcover)

Having survived a murderously uncomfortable New England holiday in the much-praised Cozy, private eye Stanley Hastings returns to more familiar New York urban turf with his twisted logic and droll style effectually intact. With Joe Balfour—a client who did time 25 years ago for killing a man in a barroom brawl—Stanley embarks on an ingeniously plotted and frequently hilarious excursion that will confront him continually with embarrassments: like the arrest of his client for the murder of a notorious blackmailer who’s been found in his Upper East Side apartment with a carving knife in his back. And before he cracks the case, Stanley will be breaking and entering, contaminating crime scenes, concealing evidence (or else planting it), framing two innocent men for two different homicides, aiding an extortionist, hanging out in a topless bar, blackmailing a few attorneys, and outwitting the cops. This is the fifteenth novel in the long-running mystery series that the New York Times finds “very funny” in its “manic nonsense” and “fiendish constructions of sound logic.”

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:14 -0400)

"Manslaughter finds private eye Stanley Hastings on familiar New York urban turf. Not so familiarly, though, an actual client, Joe Balfour, turns up at Stanley's office door. The pug nose and cauliflower ears do not belie Balfour's claim that twenty-five years ago he did time on manslaughter charges for killing a man in a barroom brawl. And his wad of cash persuades Stanley to ignore a few misgivings." "Hired to find out who wants Balfour to wear a red rose in his left lapel and rendezvous in a singles bar, Stanley figures, to be on the safe side, he'll run in his friend NYPD Sergeant MacAullif as a ringer. It proves not to be a great idea: MacAullif gets his face slapped by a real-life Barbie Doll in a patch of a dress that goes up to there, and Stanley gets ditched." "But Stanley's embarrassments have only just begun, as he is soon confronted with the arrest of his client in the murder of a notorious blackmailer who's been found in his Upper East Side apartment with a carving knife in his heart. Then Barbie Doll is also arrested, and with the trail leading back to one very angry and much compromised police sergeant, Stanley has to move fast." "In an ingeniously plotted and frequently hilarious excursion, necessity will engage Stanley in breaking and entering, contaminating crime scenes, concealing evidence (or else planting it), framing two innocent men for two different homicides, facilitating the appropriation of $270,000, hanging out in a topless bar, blackmailing a few attorneys, and outwitting the cops. He will also manage to crack the case."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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