“The best ones, Mr. Detective, we bury the best ones in shallow graves . . .”
Jeremiah Healy’s Shallow Graves (1993) is the first John Francis Cuddy mystery I’ve ever read.
Someone murders a beautiful model. She is the granddaughter of mob boss Tommy “the temper” Danucci.
The insurance company hires Cuddy to validate the modeling agency’s half-million-dollar claim on her life. They want to be sure the policy owners didn’t kill the beautiful violet-eyed model for the insurance payoff.
Even Cuddy’s hiring is a way higher-ups in the insurance company try to get back at Cuddy. He once worked for them, and along the way, he made his share of enemies.
Then Tommy “the temper” Danucci calls Cuddy in. He tells Cuddy to find out who did the murder and to tell the mob first. They avenge their own.
So now Cuddy is sideways with the insurance company (who tried to set him up with the mob) and with the most dangerous mob boss in Boston.
This book involves Cuddy working with scenarios. Again and again Cuddy goes over where everyone was and what they did.
I found the scenario part of the story tedious, but I enjoyed Healy’s clear, simple writing and his powerful surprise ending.
I bought this book as a special priced e-book from Amazon. I suppose the purpose of these special prices is to introduce readers to writers they may not have read. The reader might like the book and buy other Cuddy books at a higher price. Besides, the e-book format puts an older book back in circulation.
If the e-book strategy was to get me to buy more John Francis Cuddy books, it probably worked. I found this book enjoyable enough that I’ll read more about John Cuddy.