Hyperion, Feb 2002, 23.95, 338 pp.
At Baltimore's Sewell and Sons Family Funeral Home, mortician and wannabe private detective Hitchcock Sewell receives the call from nightclub owner Shrimp Martin during a slow period in which Death takes a vacation. Shrimp, barely able to speak, mumbles that before Lucy Taylor left him she shot him. Later Shrimp is found dead.
The police have one prime suspect Lucy. Though he believes Lucy shot Shrimp, Hitch refuses to accept his childhood friend as the murderess. He begins an investigation using his most incognito vehicle, the hearse. His inquiry leads Hitch to Pete Munger of Munger and Associates private investigation company who has been hired to find Shrimp's missing stepbrother. The amateur and the licensed agree to partner their resources to uncover the truth about a murder (or two) and a missing person.
The third Hearse amateur sleuth tale is a weird case that contains Tim Cockey's all over the place sense of humor as the hero is parts reverent, parts street smart, and parts corny. The who-done-it entertains the audience thanks to a strong secondary cast that propels the plot forward and enables the fans to better understand Hitch. Fans of amusing amateur sleuth stores will want to read THE HEARSE CASE SCENARIO and the previous two novels due to Hitch, who knows that sooner or later he will get his man or woman.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner