David's Reviews > The Bookwoman's Last Fling

The Bookwoman's Last Fling by John Dunning
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's review
Aug 30, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: completed
Read in August, 2010

Dunning does a great job re-creating the environment found around a racetrack. In this case, a major portion of the bookman's snooping takes place at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco area and Santa Anita in Los Angeles. Dunning does a WONDERFUL job of describing racetrack life, horses, people who work around horses, owners, etc. Dunning gets the horse stuff especially right. In fact, he does it so well that I could almost smell the straw, the manure, the equine sweat, etc. I could see and in some cases HEAR the vehicles run. (Cameron's car especially).. IN other words.. Dunning gets the details and he gets them right.

A decent mystery lies underneath all of the wonderful environmental and sensory details Dunning offers. What happened to the matriarch of this racing family? Did she commit suicide by ingesting peanuts (she was deathly allergice) or did someone feed them to her? Who was plundering her library of valuable old classic and antiquarian books one book at a time? The author does an excellent job of dropping piecemeal clues that later cause the reader to look back and say- HECK!! How did I miss that???

I really, really enjoyed this particular novel. Cliff Janeway is an interesting hero, though once in awhile he has the need to simply ask as a tough guy, sometimes tougher than it appears is necessary.

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