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End of the Line
End of the Line by Mike Manno
by Mike Manno

Humorous feel-good mystery!

When a bus driver finds a man dead at the end of the bus line, Captain Hodges and special investigator Detective Sergeant Jerome Stankowski (known all too frequently as Stan to his chagrin) make the connection between the victim, banker R. J. Butler and a case of bank embezzlement.  The murder investigation brings together all of Stankowski's eccentric friends and irritating colleagues.   Annoying Deputy Attorney General Parker Noble is assigned as an adviser to the case.  Newspaper reporter and sometimes girlfriend Buffy Cole sees this case as the opportunity to boost her career.  To make matters even more exasperating, bank teller Kitty Quinn and Teri Barkley, niece of one of Parker's classmates, enter the picture to assist the case and confuse his love life. 

As Parker Noble and Stankowski investigate, R.J. Butler's complex family entanglements turn up a variety of motives.  R.J.'s first wife Ann's engagement to a man connected to Johnny Capo, a local mafia figure, turns up one path of clues while his widow Linda turns up another.  Linda's was in the process of divorcing
R.J. when he was murdered.   A former model, she is now undergoing drug rehab under the care of Bob Maxwell, her therapist but their relationship seems to be more than therapist-client.  Even when the suspects are narrowed, the motive remains elusive. 

In END OF THE LINE, Mike Manno assembles a wonderful cast of characters, characters as lovable for their flaws and quirks as for their ability to solve a baffling murder case.   Parker Noble is aggravating, irritating and condescending but a perfect counterpoint to Detective Stankowski.  Indeed, Parker Noble's character gives this mystery much charm.  One just can't help but enjoy both him and his talk radio loving basset hound Buckwheat Bob.  Stankowski is a bit of a ladies' man but his innocence and enthusiasm makes him downright lovable. 
Even Buffy adds humor and spirit to the scene.  Mike Manno has a talent for bringing readers into the locale of his mysteries, not only the place itself but also the spirit of the place.  END OF THE LINE is a delightful, humorous, feel-good mystery with a clever twist that will leave fans eager for more Parker Noble mysteries.

Publisher: Five Star / Gale-Cengage Learning  (June 2010)
A Parker Noble Mystery
Author website
Previous Parker Noble mystery: MURDER MOST HOLY

Reviewed by Merrimon, Merrimon Book Reviews
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