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Vintage Polo Hardcover – December 1, 1993
From Publishers Weekly
A California PI himself, Kennealy ( Polo Solo ) captures some of the classic Hammett/Ross Macdonald spirit in the eighth Nick Polo case, a tale of greed, ambition, nasty sex, blackmail and murder in a rich California family with lots of dark secrets. With his girlfriend, reporter Jane Tobin, Polo is attending the opening of Baroni Estates' grand new winery when he is summoned to meet Angelo Baroni Sr. Wheelchair-bound and with a womanizing son about to be divorced for the third time, the elder Baroni suspects that someone is trying to destroy his winemaking empire. His worries are soon given credibility when an explosion levels the new facility. Polo's investigation opens a can of worms, the nastiest involving a pedophilic, gambling mobster. Two murders and an accidental drowning lead to a lethal duel between Polo and the mob figure, followed by a leisurely explication of tangled relationships and a somewhat ambiguous but satisfying resolution. Polo, whose lawyer is named Collin Wilcox (after another noted mystery writer), and Tobin engage in some too-cute dialogue, but Kennealy moves the plot briskly and deftly lays out his puzzles.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Baroni Vineyards is opening a new sparkling-wine facility. Private investigator Nick Polo tags along to the gala with reporter Jane Tobin. Amidst the fun, Nick takes a case at the behest of Angelo Baroni. Someone is sabotaging his vineyards: a tank of chardonnay spoiled, irrigation systems dismantled, theft, and--the weekend of Nick's visit--arson. The competition in wine is fierce, so it could be a business rival, but an inside job is more likely. The Baroni family is a rat's nest of divorce, bitterness, ambition, and greed. Junior's soon-to-be-ex has Mob connections, and her brother is in prison for an earlier attempt on Baroni the elder's life. Polo doggedly pursues the case as the bodies pile up and the threats to both his life and Jane's increase in intensity. This eighth Polo novel continues the series' strong tradition of tight plotting, crisp dialogue, and self-deprecating humor. Polo's curmudgeonly landlady, the old-as-dirt Mrs. Diamonte, serves as a protector, doctor, and occasional Tonto to Polo's Lone Ranger. It's a fun relationship, and it makes for good reading. Wes Lukowsky
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