Author: Ted Korsmo
Publisher: John Edward Korsmo II
American release date: July 31, 2014
Format/Genre/Length: E-book/PI mystery/187 pages
Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★
Once a policeman in LA, Carroll LaRue left Tinseltown behind for the Midwest. Now he’s a PI in Wayzata, a suburb of Minneapolis. It’s the 1930’s. War is looming, but life goes on as well as it can. And LaRue has a new client.
He’s driven to the house by the chauffeur, a chatty young guy by the name of Jules, where he meets Samantha (Sam) Fortescue, wife of wealthy Leslie Fortescue. The house is definitely easy on the eyes, though the wife has seen better days. Sam shows LaRue a photo of a pretty young thing, a redhead named Mavis Madder—she wants her followed. But she isn’t exactly forthcoming on the real reason she wants the girl followed, so LaRue walks out—and she follows, begging him to stay.
Finally, she admits the truth—Mavis is or was her husband’s mistress. LaRue decides he’s interested and agrees to take the case. Little does he know what he’s getting into.
Wayzata is a PI novel very much in the style of Raymond Chandler, and Carroll LaRue could be a distant cousin to Philip Marlowe. He’s a wisecracking, fly-by-the-seat-of-his pants kind of guy with a weakness for the bottle and sexy dames like Mavis. The big difference is he’s not in LA, he’s in Wayzata, MN. There are only two PIs in town, and the other one, Marion Hules, was once LaRue’s partner.
The cast of characters is worthy of Chandler, including the young smartass chauffeur, the aggrieved wife, the beautiful mistress waiting her turn to become the next Mrs. Fortescue, the ex-partner, the shady gunsmith whose work is strictly off the record.
This is one case that will keep you guessing, and to say I didn’t see the ending coming is no exaggeration. I love the writing style, and I look forward to reading more from this author.
If you enjoy detective stories, and especially if you’re a fan of Raymond Chandler, this is a must-read book.