Cover image for Dearly departed : a Holland Taylor mystery
Dearly departed : a Holland Taylor mystery
Housewright, David, 1955-
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Publication Information:
New York : Foul Play Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
281 pages ; 22 cm
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PI Holland Taylor has a low opinion of lawyer Hunter Truman and listens reluctantly to Truman's plea to help him find the missing Alison Emerton, whom the police suspect has been murdered. When Truman plays the tape Alison left, the elusive woman captures his curiosity.

Author Notes

Former newspaper reporter David Housewright left his job to pursue a full-time career in detective fiction writing. Housewright then introduced Holland Taylor, his recurrent main character in his books Penance and Practice to Deceive. He won an Edgar Award for Best First Novel and a Shamus Award for Best P. I. Novel for his writing in Penance.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Housewright's third entry in the Holland Taylor series is an entertaining missing-person yarn. St. Paul private eye Taylor is asked by low-life lawyer Hunter Truman to find the lovely Alison Emerton, who has mysteriously vanished from her home. After listening to Alison's tape-recorded message (to be played in case anything happened to her), Taylor quickly finds himself attracted to and fascinated by the missing woman--shades of the movies Laura and Vertigo. Housewright endows his protagonist with an annoying habit of dismissing his boorish or chauvinistic behavior with an annoying, "Gee I'm a guy, what do you expect?" While this is unlikely to appeal to the predominantly female mystery audience, women readers will appreciate how much smarter the female characters are than Taylor--or any of the other male characters, for that matter. Overall, this is an enjoyable mystery with a corker of an ending. --Jenny McLarin

Publisher's Weekly Review

Sleazy lawyer Hunter Truman sends cop-turned-Twin Cities PI Holland Taylor after a missing woman in Housewright's disappointing third novel. Alison Emerton has either been murdered by Raymond Fleck, a convicted rapist who was stalking her, or has left to start over someplace far from Fleck and her insensitive husband, a man clearly more concerned with collecting the insurance money for her presumed death than with grieving for her loss. Taylor is smitten by an alluring photograph of Allison and quickly becomes emotionally involved in the case. His search leads out of St. Paul to a lakeside town enveloped in a debate over Native American casino rights. Housewright's Penance (1995) won an Edgar for best first novel, and once again he shows a sure narrative touch through the voice of his engaging and quirky shamus. Yet the novel hits several wrong notes. An overly dogmatic antidrug tirade, an obvious final twist and a murky series of legal/business machinations over casino and water rights all detract from what has been a singularly pleasurable series filled with light crime tones. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved