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Fair Play’s a Jewel (Harry Reese Mysteries Book 5) Kindle Edition
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Harry Reese, smart-alack insurance investigator, married to imaginative and morally flexible Emmie, narrates the story with lots of wry humor. He relates a case he investigated, along with the complications that Emmie introduced along the way with her bendable truths.
There is plenty of licentious horseplay off scene. Because the series is by a modern author and only set in the past, the sexual innuendo is stronger than what was allowed in print back then. And the author goes to town with that, in every combination possible!
All the sexual innuendo is clouded in old slang, giving the whole thing the feeling it was written partly in code. Thankfully, the author provides the key to the code in the form of a glossary that has all the slang included with the book. If you read that before the book, which I did, and which is a good idea, you'll see that the most of the slang used is sexual!
Think 30s screwball comedy movie paired with the P. G. Wodehouse stories then everything spiced up with a burlesque show. Nick and Nora Charles, the fictional bantering investigators that were adapted to screen, are a pretty good comparison to Harry and Emmie, including the east coast U.S. setting. Harry and Emmie exist at the turn of the century however, a bit earlier than Nick and Nora.
The author's study of the era comes through strongly, not only through the language. Liquor laws, prostitution laws, customs and mores, and how business and politics were conducted all come into the story, but never overcome the story.
The humor is situational and verbal, with a keen eye for visual humor, which brought the story alive in this reader's mind. My advice is to not rush the reading. I took breaks to allow the verbal parrying to stay fresh. Previous cases are mentioned in this books, so it would be best to read the books in order to avoid spoilers.
My favorite line: "The truth is, I never worry much about Emmie. In the same way the other Borgias never worried much about Lucrezia."