Sunday, January 24, 2016
Inquiry and Assistance, by Terrie Farley Moran
We start reviewing 2016 with a nice story in the P.I. vein by my friend Terrie Farley Moran.
New York City, the Great Depression. Tommy Flood, unemployed bookkeeper is looking desperately for work, and surviving through family ties.
And speaking of family, he gets an invitation from Van Helden, the wealthy man who employs his cousin Kathleen. He has a dangerously wild daughter, and Van Helden has decided the solution is to find an attractive but tame gentleman to escort her safely to the risky sorts of establishments she enjoys.
"You, Mr. Flood, are reasonably presentable and so unsuitiable that I'm sure my daughter would find you attractive."
And, of course, if anything goes wrong, cousin Kathleen will immediately join the ranks of the desperate unemployed.
Tommy meets the daughter by pretending to be a private eye. And guess what? Turns out he's good at it. The story has a couple of minor plot holes, but I enjoyed it very much.