Monday, October 22, 2012

Femme-Bill Pronzini


Bill Pronzini

Cemetery Dance, Nov 2012, $19.99

ISBN 9781587672675

The Unnamed Detective has been a private investigator for many years but never met a femme fatale except in fiction or the movies like The Maltese Falcon or Double Indemnity. That is until his bail bondsman friend Abe Melikian introduces Nameless to Cory Beckett, who meets the definition of femme fatale adding new curves to the “species”. Nameless muses he spent more time as a detective than the twenty-eight years old Femme Fatale has breathed.

Melikian hires Nameless to find Beckett’s younger brother Kenneth who jumped bail. Kenneth has been charged with stealing a $20,000 diamond necklace from the alcoholic wife of his employer San Francisco union leader Andrew Vorhees. Nameless begins his search for the jumper while Cory uses her wiles to influence him.

Although he remains the Unnamed Detective in this entry, he is no longer Nameless (see Hellbox). Cory makes the tale entertaining as she lives up to the opening line: “Femme Fatale. French for deadly woman” though her actions are somewhat typical of her literary and film sisters. The storyline is fast-paced as Nameless works a case in which Cory Beckett’s weapon of choice is sex.

Harriet Klausner

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