Crang, the smartass Toronto criminal lawyer who acts more like a private eye, takes on a case for a man named Fletcher Marshall who happens to be one of the city’s leading antiquarian book dealers. Somebody has broken into Fletcher’s store and cleared his safe of two extremely valuable sets of documents.
One is the collection of letters dealing with a famous fistfight many years earlier between two famous figures of the day, Norman Mailer and the late great Canadian novelist, Walter Hickey. The value of the letters, written by the two fighting authors and by the dozens of equally renowned writers who watched the fight, are valued at several million dollars..
The second set of swiped documents reaches back to Elizabeth Barrett Brownings 1850s poem making up the magnificent Sonnets From the Portuguese. In the late nineteenth century, two skilful English fraudsters forged versions of the poems, which eared the fraudsters big profits before the deception was uncovered decades later. Eventually the fraudulent versions became famous and valuable in themselves, and it was one of these documents, which Fletcher was holding for sale to a wealthy client, that was also lost to the thief.
For Crang’s assignment–to finger the thief and retrieve the documents–he enlists a couple of friends who are talented in cat burglary and safe-cracking to assist him in the sleuthing. The job necessarily involves Crang and his pals in many slippery activities, a couple of physical standoffs and nervy contacts with characters on both sides of the law. Ultimately Crang’s nosey work produces one murder, which Crang necessarily must solve.
All of this, dangerous as it is, comes with a share of laughs and is not without a continuation of Crang’s romance with Annie B. Cooke, the smart and lovely woman in his life.
Available November 2017
Here is a link to Sue Carter’s interview and review of Booking In