earlemerson.com Mysteries, thrillers, home of PI Thomas Black

6-Yellow Dog Party 1991

Yellow Dog Party is the first in a trilogy consisting of YDP, The Portland Laugher and The Vanishing Smile. I call this the Birchfield trilogy. They are best read in the sequence listed.

“Among the best of a new generation of P.I. American writers.” Chicago Sun-Times

“A laugher of a case . . . (Yellow Dog Party is) going to give the competition, Parker and Lutz, for example, a few jealous twinges.”  Kirkus Reviews

“A clever, well-paced mystery . . . (with a) hard-boiled, wise-cracking detective.” Publisher’s Weekly

From Publishers Weekly

The hard-boiled, wisecracking detective with a heart of gold is alive (just barely) and not well at all when we first meet him in this clever, well-paced mystery. Hired by four area businessmen to locate the women of their dreams, Seattle private eye Thomas Black (last seen in Deviant Behavior ) soon finds himself up a tree, nearly lynched, by three thugs in Miss Piggy masks. What began as a routine–if somewhat odd–case immediately becomes for Black a cause. Determined to ferret out the identities of the hangmen to settle his own vendetta while on a case tracking down the “dream woman” who got him into trouble with them in the first place, he uncovers long-buried secrets that quickly lead to murder. Emerson, a lieutenant with the Seattle fire department, doesn’t miss a beat in carving out his detective’s niche in the genre: from the stunning sidekick–Black is much too proud to admit his love for her–to the missing woman’s abandoned daughters–whom he takes in and comes to adore–we see a man who is far more than just some remote sleuth out to get a job done.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

Detective Thomas Black, Seattle’s answer to Boston’s Spenser, finds a laugher of a case: four middle-aged, successful but middling unhappy guys hire him to trace, and then arrange dates with, their dreamgirls (a former high-school cheerleader; a Mariner season ticket-holder; a porn pinup; a former TV newscaster). But the job all too quickly turns brutal when one of Thomas’s leads is battered into a coma; her two kids are tracked by goons who want them bad enough to hang Thomas (almost fatally) for information; and when one of the men looking for a date is murdered, along with a transvestite relative of the ex-cheerleader. Could the dates be a cover-up for something else? Thomas eventually ties one of the foursome to a 20-year-old hit-and-run case, as well as to a dirty cop on his own payroll who killed to keep his secret. Mean and lean with genially tongue-in-cheek patter between Thomas and his ladylove, lawyer Kathy. Though less than top-notch for Emerson, it’s still going to give the competition–Parker and Lutz, for example–a few jealous twinges. — Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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