Cover image for The hours of the virgin
The hours of the virgin
Estleman, Loren D.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Mysterious Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
296 pages ; 24 cm
Geographic Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense

On Order



Walker follows the 500-year-old trail of a stolen illuminated manuscript across the bleak landscape of a dead city, coming face to face with a variety of odd characters.

Author Notes

Loren D. Estleman was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan on September 15, 1952. He received a B.A. in English literature and journalism from Eastern Michigan University in 1974. He spent several years as a reporter on the police beat before leaving to write full time in 1980. He wrote book reviews for such newspapers as The New York Times and The Washington Post and contributed articles to such periodicals as TV Guide.

He is a writer of mysteries and westerns. His first novel was published in 1976 and since then he has published more than 70 books including the Amos Walker series, Writing the Popular Novel, Roy and Lillie: A Love Story, The Confessions of Al Capone, and a The Branch and the Scaffold. He received four Shamus Awards from the Private Eye Writers of America, five Golden Spur Awards from the Western Writers of America, the Owen Wister Award for lifetime achievement from Western Writers of America, and the Michigan Author's Award in 1997.

(Bowker Author Biography) He lives in Whitmore Lake, Michigan.

(Publisher Provided)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Art consultant Harold Boyette discovers that nine pages of an ancient manuscript have been stolen from his studio. The thief wants $100,000 for their return. Boyette is willing to pay the ransom--from his own pocket--but wants backup. He hires private investigator Amos Walker to handle the exchange, which takes place in a porno movie house. Shots are fired, and Boyette and the cash disappear. Walker's investigation takes him deep into the Motor City's art world as well as its pornography industry. Walker is not sure which is more ruthless; both are definitely a threat to his continued existence. Walker is the classic private eye: he smokes too much, drinks too much, lives inside himself too much, and is too cynical to ever believe in love. The cliched surface hides a consistently complex character who reveals subtle growth in each series installment, and Estleman's luminescent prose brings life to Detroit's mean streets. --Wes Lukowsky

Publisher's Weekly Review

Amos Walker, Detroit PI, revisits the past in the 13th entry in an estimable hard-boiled series (The Witchfinder, etc.). In the echoing, nearly empty galleries of the Detroit Institute of Arts, Walker agrees to accompany a curator on a private mission to recover a recently stolen medieval illuminated manuscript, the Hours of the title. But in the rundown skin-flick theater where the transaction is to take place, Walker is distracted by a young woman and then shot at. The curator, his package, the woman and shooter disappear. The woman turns out to be the young wife ("she was pushing twenty but not hard enough to dent it") of the theater owner, a notorious and wealthy porn kingÄand rare book collectorÄconfined to a wheelchair. Also involved in the shooting is Earl North, the man who killed Walker's beloved first boss, Dale Leopold, 20 years before, a crime for which North went free. Vivid memories of Leopold combine with the debilitating effects of the flu and midwinter in Motor City to keep Walker on a bitter edge until, the flu broken and a connection between crimes old and new made, readers are led to the fitting conclusion. Like all Estleman offerings, this one comes with extraordinarily observant narration, intelligent dialogue, memorable charactersÄand style to spare. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Detroit private eye Amos Walker acts as bodyguard during a blackmail transaction involving a 15th-century illuminated manuscript. During the exchange, however, someone tries to kill him. Quality stuff, sure to be in demand. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.