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Crooked

 
 
 
 
Crooked
Author: Brian M. Wiprud
ISBN 13: 9780440243120
ISBN 10: 440243122
Edition: First Edition
Publisher: Dell
Publication Date: 2006-07-25
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Pages: 320
List Price: $6.99
 
 

Nicholas Palihnic is a natty, tweed-suited hustler who knows every nook and cranny of New York–and a thousand ways to break a girl’s heart. Beatrice Belarus is a Manhattan art dealer with an insatiable appetite for money–and for anyone who gets in her way. And a painting titled Trampoline Nude, 1972 has neither nudity nor a trampoline. But when Nicholas is hired by an insurance company to find the recently stolen painting, a murdered art thief points him to a trove of gold buried beneath Manhattan–and suddenly all roads are leading back to Beatrice. As fortune hunters, lovers, and other strangers gather around him, there’s one thing Nicholas must remember above all else: in this business, it’s better to be crooked than dead....

Publishers Weekly

Wiprud's latest caper chronicles a gaggle of wacky characters in pursuit of a stolen painting in Manhattan, centering on shady man-about-town Nicholas Palihnic, brother of the taxidermist hero of Wiprud's previous mysteries, Pipsqueak and Stuffed. Hired by an insurance company to hunt down Trampoline Nude, 1972, Nicholas scurries through the city, bumping into a string of increasingly wild friends and foes, including a mysterious Chinese man in a porkpie hat; a tough-talking art dealer named Beatrice Belarus; and Nicholas's old friend Nicasia Grieg, grieving over her lover, Barney, a thief she believes was eaten by crocodiles in Costa Rica (but who is actually alive and well in Hoboken). Wiprud's engaging, hard-boiled style draws readers into both the art world and the underworld of New York, and his colorful cast keeps things moving with wit to spare-especially the plucky lead. Some pieces of this tale hang loose-most notably Barney's odd relationship with a childhood mentor-but the journey is a thrilling one, with an ending even the most astute readers won't see coming. (Aug.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.