Wolverine Bros. Freight & Storage
Review: Conway Sax heads to Los Angeles to bring back former TV star — now drugged out mess and kidnapping victim — Kenny Spoon at the request of his mother, Eudora, Conway's close friend and former AA sponsor. Eudora is dying of cancer and wants to see Kenny one last time. Conway is successful in retrieving Kenny, who was being held captive by a Mexican gang, but Eudora's reunion with her son is short-lived when she is shot and killed while walking with her dogs, in Wolverine Bros. Freight & Storage, the fourth mystery in this series by Steve Ulfelder.
Conway's plan of action immediately after Eudora's murder is simple: find the people responsible and make them pay. He initially thinks that the gang from which he extracted Kenny is behind the shooting, a not unreasonable assumption and proves to be true when he chases after them, causing an accident in which the driver is killed; the gang leader, who was also in the car, escapes on foot. But he has his doubts about Kenny's half-brother Harmon, a police officer that Conway learns is way over his head in gambling debt. Eudora's extensive property in suburban Boston is quite valuable, and selling it would even things for Harmon. But would a son arrange to kill his mother? And if he did, why bring someone from California to do it?
The setup for Wolverine Bros. Freight & Storage is nicely structured, with several potential suspects and several credible motives proffered for killing Eudora Spoon. But Conway takes his approach to the case too single-mindedly, too emotionally, following clues but rushing to conclusions about one's guilt or innocence. (Slight spoiler: he's wrong far more often than he's right.) Indeed, it takes fully half the book for him to ask the obvious question: Why was Kenny kidnapped in the first place? The action sequences are well-handled in contrast to how the whodunit element plays out, which is relatively weakly developed. An unnecessary plot convenience towards the end tends to mar the final chapters, but is a relatively minor quibble in an otherwise solid entry in this series.
Acknowledgment: Minotaur Books provided a copy of Wolverine Bros. Freight & Storage for this review.
Review Copyright © 2014 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Minotaur Books (Hardcover), May 2013
ISBN-13: 9781250028082; ISBN-10: 1250028086
Location(s) referenced in Wolverine Bros. Freight & Storage: Worcester, Massachusetts
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Wolverine Bros. Freight & Storage by Steve Ulfelder — A Conway Sax Mystery
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: May 2014
List Price: $26.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
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