The Clockwork Teddy
A Bear Collector's Mystery with Brad and Ashleigh Lyon by John J. Lamb
Review: Brad and Ashleigh Lyon return to their former hometown of San Francisco to exhibit their hand-crafted teddy bears (and investigate a murder or two) in The Clockwork Teddy, the fourth mystery in this series by John J. Lamb.
Brad was once a San Francisco cop who was forced into retirement after being shot in the leg. He and his wife Ashleigh moved to the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, together collecting and creating whimsical teddy bears. They return to the city by the bay to attend the Teddy Bear Flag Republic, but also to visit their daughter, Heather, who has followed in her father's footsteps and is a detective with the SFPD, and Brad's old partner on the force, Gregg Mauel. But murder intrudes when Gregg is called to the scene of a murder, accompanied by Brad. A dead body is in the room of a seedy motel and found in the alley, a 2 foot teddy bear robot. Brad helps steer the direction of the investigation to a local firm, Barbeary Coast Bears. The owner's son is a designer of computer games for Lycaon Software and for fun, had combined his expertise of gaming with his father's knowledge of teddy bears resulting in the robot. But there's commercial interest in the robot with one firm having paid $400,000 for the prototype. When a man from Lycaon is shot, and the cash stolen, Gregg and Brad are determined to solve the crimes … and is it possible the teddy bear robot may be able help?
Books about teddy bears may bring to mind cute, early chapter readers, but The Clockwork Teddy is a strong mystery albeit written with a light touch. The bear names, for example, are fun and truly ingenious. But the best aspects of the story are the well-developed characters and the carefully plotted mystery that cleverly incorporates the theme of the series. Brad and Ashleigh are a delightful investigative team who play off each other's strengths very well. The plot twists are not overly complicated and consistent within the context of the story with readers likely to be kept guessing at the outcome right until the final pages. The Clockwork Teddy is really an exceptional mystery and highly recommended.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of The Clockwork Teddy.
Acknowledgment: Penguin Group provided a copy of The Clockwork Teddy for this review.
Review Copyright © 2008 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in The Clockwork Teddy: San Francisco, California
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The Clockwork Teddy by John J. Lamb — A Bear Collector's Mystery with Brad and Ashleigh Lyon
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Publication Date: October 2008
List Price: $6.99