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The second novel in the thrilling Stone Barrington Series by #1 New York Times Bestselling author Stuart Woods. "Blackmail, murder, suspense, love—what else could you want in a book?" Cosmopolitan

Feared and loathed for her poison pen and ice queen persona, Amanda Dart has made her share of enemies. Then the tables are turned. An anonymous gossipmonger is faxing Amanda's personal and private peccadilloes to anyone who can read. Desperate to save her reputation, she enlists the help of New York lawyer and private investigator Stone Barrington to learn the identity of the faxer. And everyone in the world of tabloid journalism becomes a suspect.

But the faxes don't stop. In fact, they get worse. Stone winds up with more leads than one man can handle, and then Amanda takes matters dangerously into her own hands and turns the world of gossip on its head. As the circle of suspects shrinks, Stone discovers that even the most respected members of the social scene will stop at nothing—even homicide—to clear their sullied names.

Librarian's note: the first five books in the Stone Barrington series are #1, New York Dead, 1991; #2, Dirt, 1996; #3, Dead in the Water, 1997; #4, Swimming to Catalina, 1998; and #5, Worst Fears Realized, 1999.

448 pages, Paperback

First published September 28, 1996

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About the author

Stuart Woods

198 books2,814 followers
Stuart Woods was the author the New York Times-bestselling Stone Barrington series and Holly Barker series. He was an avid private pilot, flying his own jet on book tours.

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5 stars
3,230 (30%)
4 stars
4,206 (39%)
3 stars
2,668 (24%)
2 stars
487 (4%)
1 star
111 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 432 reviews
Profile Image for Tim.
2,110 reviews193 followers
April 12, 2021
Stone Barrington #2 is a reason I began to enjoy this character until the 40th & 50th renditions. More story and plots than sexual conquests was much better than the latest mostly oversexed tales. 8 of 10 stars
Profile Image for Tracy .
744 reviews12 followers
April 27, 2022
'Dirt' is my first venture into the world of Stone Barrington and it definitely will not be my last. Glad to have finally started and already have several more lined up. Narrator Tony Roberts shines as he flawlessly translates the tenor of the storyline into each (autonomous) character voice.
5,277 reviews100 followers
December 29, 2020
3 Stars. Stone has moved on since the first novel in this great series, "New York Dead." In the intervening 5 years, he has been practicing law as Counsel to Woodman and Weld where he takes criminal cases off cleaner hands when a long-time client bumps into an unsavoury matter. He also seems to have had a lengthy relationship with a beautiful judge! As "Dirt" begins, he's getting dumped by Judge Sara O'Neal. Now that can't be a new experience for Stone! He's not far removed from being a police detective and that's why gossip columnist Amanda Dart consults him. Someone has been dishing to her the medicine she usually dispenses to others. Faxes have been arriving at news outlets about a very special 50th birthday party she had with a married man from Atlanta. Complete with pictures! She needs Stone to put a stop to it. At the same time, also in New York, her publisher Richard Hickock is frolicking with an actress, and Amanda's west coast competitor Alan Peebles is swimming with a gay shark. The gossip columns light up, and it all lands on Stone's desk. A touch below #1 but surely #3 will up tick. (August 2020)
Profile Image for Amanda McGill.
1,190 reviews50 followers
March 30, 2017
Seriously?! This is a bestselling series?!

I'll point out the good first because there is so little of it. Stone Barrington is a forced to retire ex-cop, who also has a law degree. This allows him to pick up cases that he really wants to pursue. This case is about D-list celebrities that are getting their dirty laundry aired by a mysterious source. The mystery was good and I enjoyed as it unravelled once we found out who is the source.

Despite the mystery being good, it was really hard to get into the mystery because Stone decided to sleep with every single woman he comes in contact with. Really?! I think there were 3 or 4 women in this novel. And of course they were all amazingly beautiful, great in bed women. The scenes were also laughably bad.

I also didn't like how we were suppose to care for/feel sorry for these "I think I'm so great" people who were getting exposed. Most of them were in the gossip industry, so you would expect them to not be as critical and freak out as much as they did.

I'm done with the Barrington series. I can't believe there are 40+ books of this!
Profile Image for Eli Hornyak.
207 reviews19 followers
August 2, 2021
I enjoyed this one more than book one. Looks like I’m hooked on Stone Barrington now.
Profile Image for Diane Wallace.
1,120 reviews1,336 followers
August 23, 2017
Ok series! entertaining. S.W. should have done a much better job with this storyline,he's too much of a great writer to be wasting the series mostly with 70% on Stone having sex,sex,sex instead of the regular action and detective work (paperback!)
Profile Image for Beth Brekke.
130 reviews28 followers
January 17, 2021
I waited a long time to find book #2 in this series and after reading it, I wonder if I really liked book #1 as much as I thought I did (so long ago I wasn't rating and reviewing here). I didn't care much about most of the characters in the story but I won't have to worry about that as the series goes on because most of them were killed off in this edition. Not caring created not really following and finding it all a little dull, confusing and poorly ended. I kept interpreting the over-abundance of sex scenes as Stuart Woods' personal fantasies as there was little relating them to real life. There were more typos than you should expect in a professionally published book, including changing the name of one woman who was introduced as Lucille and 2 pages later, magically becomes Louise. I hope this is the weak link in the series. My first book of 2021 sets the bar rather low - hopefully the next 20 will be better.
Profile Image for Anastasia.
1,338 reviews64 followers
January 8, 2019
Dirt by Stuart Woods is the second book in the Stone Barrington series. When gossip columnist Amanda Dart becomes the victim of an anonymous gossipmonger, she hires lawyer and investigator Stone Barrington to find out their identity. Not the usual murder mystery, it was interesting to read of the world of gossip journalism. An engrossing and captivating account with everything coming together at the end.
Profile Image for Scott A. Miller.
495 reviews16 followers
August 21, 2022
It took a while but I found my Parker, Spenser, Stone and Randall replacement. I mowed through them and Barrington and Woods might just be as fun.

This one was an excellent mystery, the characters were great and there’s like 50 more of them. Here we go.
Profile Image for Erth.
3,428 reviews
July 12, 2021
"Blackmail, murder, suspense, love—what else could you want in a book?"
Profile Image for Soo.
2,598 reviews255 followers
February 10, 2020

New narrator & he did a great job. I think I have a good handle on how the series will roll and I'm not sure if I'm in the right mood for it. The different characters all seem to have the same kind of mentality of "Do whatever you want. Just don't get caught." that I have a hard time believing. There's a lot of sex scenes and it's rather obvious that someone must have a love of oral sex.

While the first book was more clumsy in throwing in details, it was more entertaining. This one was better written but it was too predictable to be as fun.
Profile Image for Eileen Pace.
53 reviews17 followers
November 20, 2018
I read this two months ago and I can't remember a thing about it. I haven't read a Woods book, however, that varies in format much - opulent settings, private planes, yachts, bullet-proof cars, friends in high places, beautiful blondes - same old, same old.
Profile Image for Mark.
2,167 reviews20 followers
July 16, 2022
A return to the beginnings of the Stone Barrington series...The titles in the series are much like the Dick Francis titles, in that they sound so similar, you can't remember if you read them...Thankfully, Goodreads is a big help reminding me I missed this one...In "Dirt," Barington come to the aid of a "poison pen" gossip columnist whose secrets seem to be leaking out to the public...Stone meets Arrington and the fun of the "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous," begins!
Profile Image for Ruth.
965 reviews47 followers
January 17, 2016
I have enjoyed several Stone Barrington novels and this adds another to the list.

In this story, Stone is asked to investigate and find whomever is writing scandalous stories about Amanda Dart, the well-known gossip columnist. It is ironic that even though she is VERY discreet, someone knows an awful lot about her and her dalliances. The tables have been turned and Amanda is feeling the heat that she is usually putting other people's feet to. Then she discovers that other gossip writers are having similar problems. What happens when families, friends, and co-workers find out these tidbits could be not only embarrassing but damaging.

While Stone is investigating he also becomes a victim to the gossipers, is beaten up, and is robbed. It seems that the people in this business have secrets of their own and will go to any lengths to keep those secrets, secret.

An interesting storyline with some surprising twists along the way.
Profile Image for Jen B. .
298 reviews
September 28, 2010
2.5 stars, really...

Picked this book up from the shelves at the book swap at work. Within the first few chapters I was reading about some woman giving a guy head and getting caught on camera. Not exactly workplace-appropriate reading, eh?

Well, all of Woods' female characters are very aggressive sexually. Promiscuous, even. The lead character's name is Stone Barrington... which made me think of porn stars and Paddington Bear. Not a great combo.

The chapters are short, which makes for quick and easy reading. Light little "whodunit" story, with very little character depth or development. Not awful, not great. Just okay. Not intriguing enough to make me want to read more of Mr. Barrington.
Profile Image for Joanne.
722 reviews17 followers
January 4, 2021
Five years have past since we last saw Stone Barrington. He has settled into his new role as a lawyer after being retired from the police force.
When Alison Dart walks into his office it is his investigation skills that she is after. The gossip columnist has had the tables turned on her when her personal life is exposed to all and sundry and she wants Stone to find out who is behind the leak.
This book has a solid mystery which I really enjoyed, I could do with a little less of the bed hoping but it is not enough to turn me off this series.
Profile Image for John.
Author 3 books28 followers
January 23, 2012
A trashy, pulpy read, redeemed (somewhat) by its quick pace and its easy style. Stone Barrington (!) is a retired cop with a law degree (!!) who lives in a palatial brownstone in Manhattan (!!!) and sleeps with every woman he meets. It's Mickey Spillane but with an eye for modern brands and labels; Woods drops the names of every high-priced bistro, tailored outfit and bottle of wine that our protagonists enjoy.
Profile Image for Jason McCracken.
1,327 reviews17 followers
September 14, 2022
The detective stuff is actually really good, it's an easy 4-star book if rated purely as a crime novel but sadly about 60% of this is actually hilariously bad soft-core male fantasy porn. I'm pretty sure Stone Barrington fucked every single female character in this book bar one, and that was only because she wasn't ranked as one of the most beautiful women in New York like all the others.
Profile Image for  Marla.
1,945 reviews121 followers
September 22, 2016
Fascinating story of tabloid magazines and womanizing lawyer/detective Stone Barrington. Normally, journalist stories are not my thing, but this is a detective story set in the sleazy world of sensational journalism. Amanda Dart is the queen of gossip columnists, but mysteriously, the name of her magazine is never mentioned in the book.

* Cut throat world of gossip columnists

* American Infiltrator
* Stone sleeping around
* Everyone sleeping around
* Stone's ex-partner and buddy, commanding officer of detectives, Lt Dino Bacchetti

language, violence, murder, sexual innuendos and situations, infidelity, promiscuity, gay sex scene,
12 reviews1 follower
September 13, 2019
I’ll give this 2 stars because the storyline is fairly interesting. The rest of it is, simply, terrible. None of the characters are likable, not even Stone. He’s probably the most likable character, but that’s not saying much.
The women are all (save one) caricatures of what I assume is the author’s wet dream-tall, fit, big boobs, long legs, nymphomania...
Stone sleeps with at least 3 of them, including the sister of some suspects. Stone shows up in the middle of a snow storm, introduces himself to the sister, and, within minutes, they’re having sex. Super realistic. The sex scenes are laughable-horribly written and full of cliches.
The one “unattractive” female is described as 5’5”, and 150 pounds. Apparently, this makes her so heavy, she can barely walk up a trail to a picnic site and she huffs and puffs after her amazingly fit friend. The friend, by the way, has legs so long “they are too long for most regular pantyhose”. She’s also 50, but because she’s taken such good care of herself, she doesn’t ever need to wear a bra. I’m wondering if the author has ever met, or even talked to, an actual living, breathing woman.
This is an old series, so I doubt many readers are flocking to read it, but if you’re considering it, rethink your plans.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Richard.
704 reviews14 followers
February 26, 2014
I read this straight after completing the first in the series, New York Dead. I gave that one four stars. 'Dirt' is even better and merits full marks. The plot is just as good but the ending better. The thing I like the most about the two books is Woods' very smooth writing style which is easy to read with hardly ever a wasted word. Characters are easy to picture in the mind and generally very believable, nothing far-fetched. I really look forward to reading the rest of the series, over time, particularly when I have just finished a hard-going book by some other author and I just need some pure, easy going enjoyment.
Profile Image for pawsreadrepeat.
462 reviews14 followers
July 26, 2020
I read the first book in this series just as the pandemic began and had been anxiously awaiting the reopening of my local library so I could read it.

I enjoyed the story and the characters. I also like the writing style. I gave three stars because I felt like the ending was a bit flat. Toward the end, we learn some of the characters go way back. Given that I thought the culprits would have been connected in some way by the past. Thus were out for revenge, instead it was just greed.

Despite this, I look forward to reading more of the series.
Profile Image for Kristina Deluise.
310 reviews3 followers
October 21, 2020
ok, while the mystery is good. and the whole sleuth stuff is good.

i believe this has to be the 90s as they have cell phones

but really does stone have to SLEEP with every female he comes in contact with?

hasn't he heard of aids? ugh

i am really missing the group comradery of j.d robbs eve dallas books, or catherine coulter's fbi series,

i'm going to keep reading because it's a long series, but if stone keeps sleeping with everyone, it's going to get old really fast.........................

Profile Image for ✨ Gramy ✨ .
1,382 reviews
November 18, 2013
The main character in the series is Stone Barrington, an ex-NYPD detective who is now practicing law. He and his ex-partner, Dino, continue to meet for dinners regularly at Elaine's. The murdered victim in this book is Amanda Dart. She is a high-profile journalist, who specialized in scandalous stories. Stone and Dino investigate the murder together. The author knows how to keep his readers interested with an entertaining, fast read.
Profile Image for Tgordon.
1,031 reviews8 followers
March 20, 2020
So I’m half in love with Stone he’s just so cool and apparently crazy in bed... ha ha. I haven’t figured out from reading the couple that I have if these are cozy mystery or something harder but they are fun. The lives if the rich and famous is how I currently feel.
605 reviews6 followers
August 29, 2020
Poor follow up to book #01. This was more of a soft porn book with a little bit of detective thrown in. Stone was clubbed and shot, but carried on as if nothing has happened. Put me off the later books, but I might try volume 3.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 432 reviews

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