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Bone Key (John Deal Series) Paperback – July 15, 2007

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Product Details

  • Series: John Deal Series
  • Paperback: 283 pages
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press (July 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590583450
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590583456
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,292,652 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

A new Deal novel is cause for celebration, as fans of Les Standiford's series featuring the Florida contractor know. This time around, Deal's complicated family ties lure him from Miami to Key West to bid on a huge project being developed by entrepreneur Franklin Stone, an old friend of his father's. It's always a good idea to get a series hero away from his usual haunts, even if the Keys aren't that far from Florida's gold coast; the geography of the setting is key to this somewhat run-of-the-mill tale of buried treasure, vintage wine, and murder. What makes this mystery worthwhile isn't the plot, it's the people; instead of Vernon Driscoll, Deal's usual sidekick, Standiford gives us Russell Straight, and instead of Janice, Deal's estranged wife, the author sets up Annie Dodds, Deal's college girlfriend, as his love interest; it's the author's skill at characterization that renders them real rather than stereotypical, multifaceted rather than one-dimensional. Not the best of the series, but still well worth reading. --Jane Adams --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Among mystery buffs, John D. MacDonald may be the poet laureate of South Florida, but now Standiford whose work has been praised by Elmore Leonard and Stephen King, among others bids fair to be MacDonald's heir apparent. (Travis McGee fans will note John Deal's resemblance to MacDonald's "salvage consultant," and Standiford, like MacDonald, excels at depicting violence.) The novel takes its cue from John Hersey's hymn to Key West ("Many of the citizens are well acquainted with mischief, but at a cost"). The story begins in 1931 with a storm passing through the Florida straits; there's a devastating explosion aboard a freighter, The Magdalena, and then oblivion. Many years later, John Deal, who inherited the Dealco Construction firm from his late father, is visiting Key West to discuss a building project. He steps in to help a black youth, Dequarius Noyes, from being harassed by a deputy. Soon afterward, Noyes turns up in Deal's hotel room dead. In the kid's hand is the label from a bottle of rare wine, vintage 1929, worth thousands of dollars. There's more, much more, including buried treasure, an old girlfriend who reappears out of nowhere and, of course, murder. The labyrinthine plot, involving a case of rare wine worth $100,000, will delight oenophiles. Thriller buffs in general and readers of South Florida mysteries in particular should find this one well up to Standiford's standard. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Phillip D. Scott on February 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
i read bone key in one reading and enjoyed it very much. take out the prologue and all the action occurs in a couple of days in key west florida. the protagonist is a construction company owner who has come to key west to look at the pet project of a rich man named stone. while in key west he meets an old girl friend and encounters plenty of other trouble. i figured out the bad guy about two thirds of the way through but that isnt necessarily a bad thing. i plan to read some more of this series when i get the chance. written very well and plotted very well.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Konrad Kern VINE VOICE on June 23, 2002
Format: Hardcover
In Les Standiford's latest John Deal novel you get a solid mystery with characters you've become familiar with but still remain fresh. This time around Deal and his newly appointed construction engineer, Russell Straight, are heading down to Key West to discuss a business proposition with a big time developer that his father once knew. Obviously with Mister Deal involved, something bad usually happens, and this time it's no exception. His unfortunate run in with a young black hoodlum is just the start of a long hard stay in the Key's. Murder, along with an old tale of piracy drive this sometime suspenseful tale to its satisfying conclusion.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I thought I had this one figured out, for sure I had it right for a change. But no, author Les Standiford had another plot twist in mind for this fine entry in the John Deal series.

Deal is called to Key West by businessman Franklin Stone. Bringing friend Russell Straight with him for the trip, the two men get to learn what the pace in Key West really is as they wait day after day for Stone to find time to meet with them. One evening Deal is approached by a young black man by the name of Desquarius Noyes who has a secret to tell but who wants privacy to do so, privacy that is lacking at the hotel bar. Deal manages to dismiss this meeting when he is overwhelmed by the beauty of the bar's lounge singer, his old high school sweetheart.

While running the next day, Russell and Deal see Desquarius being beaten by police, so they stop to help out, ending them all in the middle of a fistfight and then in jail. Finally, Franklin Stone shows up to bail them all out. As it turns out, Stone had sent quite a bit of work to John Deal's father, founder of Dealco construction. Stone has a high scale housing development project on Key West that involves an historic site, a job for which Deal has had previous experience. This venture would net quite a handsome profit for all involved, including the natural preserve at its center.

Life in Margaritaville is tarnished when Deal returns to his room to find Desquarius's body, holding in his hand an old wine bottle label. Deal wonders about the significance of this evidence and discovers that it probably came from a priceless Bordeaux from 1928. So how did this young black man come to possess the label, and who would kill for it? Deal turns to Desquarius's grandfather for further enlightenment, only to meet the end of a gun.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on April 12, 2002
Format: Hardcover
John Deal is trying to return his deceased father's Florida building firm, DealCo Construction to its former glory. It's a matter of pride plus he needs the money to support his estranged wife and pay his daughter's tuition fees. He travels to Key West with his friend and co-worker Russell Straight to see if they can come to terms with local developer flamboyant Franklin Stone who wants Dealco to build his latest project.

Even before the two men meet, a local hustler named Dequarious tries to tell Deal something in a local restaurant. Before he can, Dequarious is thrown out. The next time the builder sees the hustler, John tries to stop a local police officer from killing Dequarious. He succeeds but shortly thereafter, Dequarious is found by Deal shot to death in his hotel room, a wine label in his hand. John Deal is determined to find out who is behind the killing or die trying.

Les Standiford has written a complex, multi-layered crime novel that will pique and maintain reader interest from first page to last. The author is a master of characterization, populating his novel with people readers will like even though the audience knows that these individuals can operate on the wrong side of the law. BONE KEY is a mystery that is impossible to figure out until the author is ready to reveal the answers.

Harriet Klausner
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