Ellie Stone is four years older than I am. She is 23 years old as the story begins in January 1960. Ellie is a reporter for a newspaper in New Holland, NY (which may not really exist but sounds like a lot of small towns in upstate New York or almost anywhere else). She gets a call that her father has been beaten up in his New York City apartment near Washington Square and Greenwich Village. Professor Abe Stone is a well-respected member of the Italian Department at Columbia University in NY. He and Ellie are Jewish– a fact important to the story. Ellie’s mom and her brother are both deceased– also important.
I grew up in New York. In 1960 I was 19, so the places Ellie visits while trying to solve the mystery were places I knew as well. In addition to her father’s beating, there is a missing manuscript of his latest book, the murder of a fellow professor in the department, two men with the same name who could not be more different, faculty members who are a little strange, and a 5-foot-7 inch tall police sergeant who was a NYC high school basketball star. Great characters all.
These books reminded me of the great noir mystery writers such as Raymond Chandler. The dialogue is correct for the time and place. Mystery fans rejoice for this exciting author’s books. I guessed wrong as to who committed all of the crimes; one of the clues led me the completely wrong direction. Good job!
GO! BUY! READ!
–Jim Harris, retired book sales rep
One Nightstand is a reader-fueled feature, and you can be a contributor, too. Simply click the “What are you reading?” button in the sidebar and share your thoughts. Tell us your latest great reads or all-time favorites! If you mention your favorite independent bookstore, we’ll link to them.