|the American hardcover edition|
Of course Pronzini is well-known for his Nameless Detective series, which in novel form has been running for forty-two years--almost as long as this Passing Tramp been running!
Bones, from 1985, is a good example of what I think of as Phase Two in the long Nameless saga. This Phase Two ran from 1980 (Labyrinth) through 1986 (Deadfall). This is a an excellent run of novels.
|the new edition|
Eating out at a restaurant, Nameless and Kerry experience the 1984 Morgan Hill earthquake (a rumble of a different sort occurs at another restaurant when a reluctant Nameless and Kerry go on a double date with Eberhardt and Wanda). Silly me, I thought at the time that this was just some narrative decoration. In fact, the earthquake plays a key role in the plot (think of the tile).
Bones is one of those teasing murder in retrospect cases, like Agatha Christie's Five Little Pigs--in the United States retitled, appropriately enough, Murder in Retrospect--and Ngaio Marsh's Died in the Wool.
|Bill Pronzini at the time Bones was published|
It seems that Harmon Crane died in a locked room, no less, so experienced detective fiction readers will know to expect an especially rewarding problem!
Complications, including two more shootings (one of which again is in a locked room) ensue, before Nameless finally sees the light. But though he finds the truth, will he be able to unearth justice? Read Bones and see.
Over the next ten days I will be looking at another of Bill Pronzini's Nameless tales, as well as some of his non-Nameless crime novels.