Review: Wyatt Hunt's private investigations firm known as "The Hunt Club" is in dire financial straits, within a month or so of shutting its doors, when all-around go-fer Mickey Dade comes up with a potential solution to their problem in Treasure Hunt, the second mystery in this series by John Lescroart.
Mickey happens to be in the right place at the right time when the body of community activist Dominic Como is found in a lagoon near the Palace of Fine Arts. His interview on television is seen by Ian Thorpe, a fellow student who, like Mickey, spends his Saturdays attending culinary school. Ian tells Mickey he's in need of a private investigator; his sister was dating Dominic Como and may be a person of interest by the police. Ian suggests that maybe The Hunt Club can assist his sister in proving her innocence. Of course, Ian has no money, but Mickey seizes on the idea of asking the high profile charitable organizations, in which Como was a prominent member, to offer a reward for information leading to the arrest of Como's killer, and hire The Hunt Club to manage the process. All it would take is for Wyatt to use his not inconsiderable charm to set it all up.
And set it up he does. The Hunt Club is back in business, but it isn't long before there's another murder and Wyatt and his team find themselves at odds with the police over suspects and motives … and the identity of who killed Dominic Como.
Treasure Hunt is a highly entertaining novel. There is a measure of reading comfort — satisfaction, maybe — that comes from a narrative that flows confidently and effortlessly. The murder mystery plot is straight-forward, not necessarily clever but not overly simplistic either, and the gathering of the suspects in the end — seated on Wyatt's private basketball half-court, no less — is more charming than contrived.
Finally, Wyatt Hunt may be the star of the show here, but his associate Mickey Dade often gets the best lines in Treasure Hunt. He opens the book (The day he found the body, Mickey Dade woke up under a tree on Mount Tamalpais.) and he closes it (She took another breath. "But unless you tell me not to, I'm going to kiss you." He beat her to it.), and all the while in-between it's a real pleasure getting to know him as a character. He's one of the elements that surely makes the book an impressive stand-out.
Acknowledgment: Penguin Group provided a copy of Treasure Hunt for this review.
Review Copyright © 2010 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
A Plague of Secrets
Dutton (Hardcover), June 2009
ISBN-13: 9780525950929; ISBN-10: 0525950923
Location(s) referenced in Treasure Hunt: San Francisco, California
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Treasure Hunt by John Lescroart — A Wyatt Hunt Mystery
Publication Date: January 2010
List Price: $26.95