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The Highly Effective Detective Goes to the Dogs: A Mystery Hardcover – August 19, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. In Yancey's delightful second mystery to feature lovably inept Teddy Ruzak (after 2006's The Highly Effective Detective), Teddy fails the Tennessee PI licensing exam for the second time and is served notice that he can no longer work as a PI. After shutting down the office, Teddy spots a homeless man on the street and, on impulse, gives him his hat. The next day Teddy finds the man beaten to death in an alley behind his office building. Determined to dig up the truth, Teddy, in his inimitable way, follows the trail. Along the way to a most surprising solution, he finds his life complicated by two unexpected new acquaintances from the dog pound, one four-legged and the other a young woman who finds Teddy very attractive. Yancey has given Teddy a distinctive voice—wry, rambling and self-reflective—that will endear this surprisingly effective bumbler to all kinds of mystery readers. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Yancey follows up his delightful Highly Effective Detective (2006) with this equally delightful sequel. Knoxville, Tennessee, private eye Teddy Ruzak is experiencing a slight professional hiccup: he can’t seem to pass the PI exam, and the state is demanding he shut down his business. But there are bills to pay, and, oh yes, he’s just discovered the body of a murdered man outside his building. Sure, the cops don’t think the man was murdered, but Teddy is convinced they’re wrong, and he’s going to prove it. There’s just the slight problem of how to solve a murder when you’re an unlicensed private eye without a clue. If anything, this second Ruzak novel is even funnier than the first, and the first was plenty funny. This one’s humor is a bit broader, the characters and dialogue a bit wackier. Readers of the first book who noted a similarity to Donald E. Westlake or (to a lesser degree) Carl Hiaasen will see here that their instincts were on the money: Yancey deserves mention with the wackiest of today’s comic crime novelists. --David Pitt
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It made for a wonderful breathing space and feel-good time in between most of the other mystery suspense novels I read.
I will most definitely be looking for other works by the author, although must caution you that he has written some novels directed at teens and am a few years beyond that now so prefer not to buy teen books. *wink*
Author Rick Yancey takes delicious liberties with the detective genre, creating a light, comic detective novel which is an enjoyable read. This is (and this satirizes) the type of mystery novel that one might read in the era from 1920 to 1940. The dialogue is a bit more modern, so that
a word or two of the "seven words" banned from broadcast media do appear.
The result is a light comic novel with mystery trappings which amuses--an intelligent middle-brow bit of fun.
Teddy leaves his office only to notice a homeless man just outside; he gives the man his hat. The next day, Teddy returns to his office only to see the same man dead in the ally behind the building. Someone beat the homeless person to death. Rationalizing that he does not have a paying customer so he is breaking no violations, Teddy begins to investigate even as he is joined by Archie the clever sleuthing canine so intelligent he was residing at the pound and the pound desk assistant U of T philosophy student Amanda.
Teddy is terrific in his second appearance as THE HIGHLY EFFECTIVE DETECTIVE who bumbles his way through the investigation. The story line is driven by Teddy who's "Noir-lit" asides and his sleuthing companions make for an amusing Tennessee waltz as he struggles to solve the case, feed the dog, and get the woman. His successful ineptitude makes for a fun anti-hardboiled detective.