Putnam, Aug 2002, 24.95, 309 pp.
Renowned collector Deci Fortesque hires Palm Beach private sleuth Archy McNally to find an alleged original complete text of Truman Capote's Answered Prayers. Archy quickly learns that Claudia Lester asserted that she possessed the manuscript, but her former lover Matthew Harrigan stole it from her. Matthew insists he took nothing and that Claudia is just a former lover causing him trouble.
Antiques dealer Rodney Whitehead informs the sleuth that neither Claudia nor Matthew is credible, not that Rodney is any better. The search turns nasty when the supposed owner of the Capote manuscript is found dead in the sleazy Crescent Hotel not long after Archy visited the place. Police Lieutenant Georgia O'Hara knows Archy is holding out on her, but he refuses to reveal anything that might interfere with completing his client's assignment as the fee is too good.
When Lawrence Sanders died a few years ago and Vincent Lardo took over the McNally franchise, this reviewer howled about another series of lite books. Several novels later, this reviewer still howls that Mr. Sanders would have been proud to claim the Lardo books as his own. The latest MCNALLY'S ALIBI is a strong novel containing an intriguing investigative story line and three women making Archy's life miserable in different ways. Fans of Mr. Sanders, McNally, or a strong private investigative novel will want to read Mr. Lardo's latest take and like this reviewer demand early release of another Arch book ASAP.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner