* "A Tight Lie" by former national television news correspondent Don Dahler (Minotaur, $24.95) is a gripping, gritty debut set mostly in Los Angeles.
It introduces Huck Doyle, a multi-talented professional golfer who's a licensed private investigator and a non-practicing attorney.
Superstar baseball player Joniel Baker, a friend of Doyle, has been accused of murdering two pretty young women; significant evidence leads to his arrest. He contacts Doyle for help, who finds the case intriguing and has his own personal reasons for solving it.
This hard-boiled thriller has a great cast of memorable characters, including assorted strippers, a disgraced cop, a quadriplegic FBI agent, a gorgeous medical examiner, a pair of tough thugs and a shifty sports promoter.
Devious schemes abound; the quick-thinking private eye digs deep into the underbelly of the teeming metropolis. Dahler's nifty, dark tale is told in an unusual style, but he succeeds in making his oddball hero both believable and likable.
This isn't just a book for golf lovers, it's a hole-in-one for mystery fans, too.
Ray Walsh, owner of East Lansing's Curious Book Shop, has reviewed crime novels and noir thrillers regularly since 1987.