The flimflam affair

Bill Pronzini

Book - 2019

Carpenter and Quincannon Professional Detective Services is a fixture in San Francisco at the dawn of a new century. Sabina and John will protect their clients, doing what is necessary to run the dregs of society into the arms of the law. Sometimes that involves brute force. Other times, a more subtle touch is needed. Professor A. Vargas, medium extraordinaire, and his partner, Annabelle, don't use picks to open locked doors, and most certainly don't use violence to get what they want.... Instead they prey upon hopes and fears to swindle bereaved patrons. Soon John and Sabina find themselves in a dusky room, preparing to take the lying duo down. Then a knife flashes ... and our detectives must discover who is conning whom. Before they themselves are dispatched.

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Series
Muller, Marcia. Carpenter and Quincannon mystery.
Subjects
Genres
Detective and mystery fiction
Mystery fiction
Historical fiction
Published
New York : Forge 2019.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Item Description
"A Tom Doherty Associates book."
Physical Description
239 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN
9780765394378
0765394375
Main Author
Bill Pronzini (author)
Review by PW Annex Reviews

MWA Grand Master Pronzini smoothly juggles several story lines in the rollicking seventh mystery featuring late-19th-century San Francisco detectives Sabina Carpenter and John Quincannon (after 2018's The Bags of Tricks Affair), each of whom is tasked with solving an impossible crime. John heads out to a mining town to discover how a burglarproof safe containing $10,000 in gold dust and bullion was breached, while Sabine must unmask a charlatan who preys on the desperate relatives of those who have "passed over." These cases are sophisticated brain-teasers: all the clues are clearly presented for any reader who wishes to try to beat the detectives to the solutions. Both detectives then tackle a counterfeiting scheme involving an old nemesis of John's, one he thought long dead. Add to that the delicately balanced romance/non-romance of the main characters (spiced up with the age-old battle of the sexes), and there's more than enough to satisfy readers looking for a fast, fun escape from their daily cares. Agent: Dominick Abel, Dominick Abel Literary. (Jan.) Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly Annex.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A case involving a con-artist medium and his swindling assistant is complicated by a stabbing and the realization that multiple cons are being played. By the Mystery Writers of America Grand Master-winning author of The Bags of Tricks Affair.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Carpenter and Quincannon Professional Detective Services is a fixture in San Francisco at the dawn of a new century. Sabina and John will protect their clients, doing what is necessary to run the dregs of society into the arms of the law. Sometimes that involves brute force. Other times, a more subtle touch is needed. Professor A. Vargas, medium extraordinaire, and his partner, Annabelle, don't use picks to open locked doors, and most certainly don't use violence to get what they want. Instead they prey upon hopes and fears to swindle bereaved patrons. Soon John and Sabina find themselves in a dusky room, preparing to take the lying duo down. Then a knife flashes...and our detectives must discover who is conning whom. Before they themselves are dispatched.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

John Quincannon and Sabina Carpenter take on a case involving a con-artist medium and his swindling assistant, which is complicated by a stabbing and the realization that multiple cons are being played.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

The Flimflam Affair is the latest charming historical mystery in Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Bill Pronzini's detective series.Carpenter and Quincannon, Professional Detective Services is a fixture in San Francisco at the dawn of a new century. While the future is unclear, Sabina and John know one thing for certain; they will protect their clients from flimflammers, thieves, and murderers, and do whatever it takes to run these dregs of society into the arms of the law. Sometimes, that requires a subtle touch. Professor A. Vargas, self-styled medium extraordinaire, and his partner Annabelle, use guile and trickery to swindle bereaved men and women eager to contact the spirits of deceased loved ones. John and Sabina must not only unmask these charlatans, but also solve the riddle of an impossible murder in the midst of a séance.Other cases involve brute force and personal danger. Such as the theft of a burglarproof safe mysteriously emptied of gold bullion. And John’s pursuit of a ruthless gang of counterfeiters, whose leader appears to be a man from John’s past in the Secret Service—a man thought long dead.Adding spice to these exploits is Sabina and John’s personal relationship, which is rapidly progressing to an exciting new level.The Carpenter and Quincannon Mysteries:#1 The Bughouse Affair#2 The Spook Lights Affair#3 The Body Snatchers Affair#4 The Plague of Thieves Affair#5 The Dangerous Ladies Affair#6 The Bags of Tricks Affair#7 The Flimflam Affair