Book Review: A LONG, HARD LOOK by Joel D. Canfield

LonghardLookcover2Synopsis (from Amazon)

A short, fat banker. A willowy, buxom blonde. Phil Brennan’s latest client is the former. He prefers the latter — until he gets to know her better. She and her family back Brennan into a corner. His only way out is to choose between truth and love.

With this family, there’s a third choice, just for good measure.


My Review

I am a great fan of mysteries, but prior to reading this book I had never read a “Chanderlesque” mystery. I confess that I had no idea what that meant but I was intrigued. The book description perked my curiosity so I sat down to read it. It was immediately clear that Canfield’s style was different from what I was used to finding in a cozy mystery. It felt more like a traditional detective story told by the quasi-detective himself.

The story is told by Phil, a somewhat likeable guy with a vague back story and unclear purpose in life. The narrative is conversational as Phil comments on the bizarre cast of characters who traipse in and out of his office within a short period of time.  As the story progresses,  he faces an array of ethical and romantic dilemmas as he squares off against an incredibly dysfunctional family in his efforts to discover who killed one of his clients. Phil rambles on at times so I had a bit of trouble keeping track of the characters at first, but as I got farther into the book every became clear. This was a clean and enjoyable read.

If you are a fan of this mystery genre, I recommend you check out A Long, Hard Look.

Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. This did not influence my review in any way.


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