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Stakeout: A Stanley Hastings Mystery (Stanley Hastings Mysteries) 5. Client ( Stanley Hastings Mystery Book 5) by Parnell Hall (December 25, ). $
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- Parnell Hall (writer)
- Books by Parnell Hall and Complete Book Reviews
- Hitman : A Stanley Hastings Mystery / | Wake County Public
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So he seems a particularly improbable choice, among all of New York City's private investigators, for the cold-eyed Martin Kessler. Not that Kessler requires firepower. He's got a gun of his own-an automatic with a long, ugly silencer-although he'd like to retire it. A contract killer who wants out of the game, Kessler hires Stanley mostly to watch his back in the event that someone of similar professional skills is shadowing him.
Parnell Hall (writer)
Someone is, in fact, only Stanley fails to spot him and dead bodies are soon piling messily up. There's an obligation a PI owes a client, so Stanley figures, and in the face of a situation that with more luck or diligence he might have averted, he determines to sort it out. The hapless PI thus begins an odyssey that will take him from a seedy topless bar to a plush corporate boardroom, and ultimately a Manhattan courtroom, in his attempt to uncover just what did go down, and why, during his client's last, decidedly dirty job.
Edgar, Shamus, and Lefty nominee Parnell Hall is the author of the Stanley Hastings private eye novels, the Puzzle Lady crossword puzzle mysteries, and the Steve Winslow courtroom dramas. An actor, screenwriter, and former private investigator, Hall lives in New York City. Show More Show Less. Pre-owned Pre-owned.
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Books by Parnell Hall and Complete Book Reviews
Book 6. Juror by Parnell Hall. Poor Stanley Hastings finds himself falling in lo… More. Shelve Juror. Book 7. Shot by Parnell Hall. This Edgar Award-nominated series features Stanle… More. Shelve Shot. Book 8. Actor by Parnell Hall. New York private eye Stanley Hastings can't say n… More. Shelve Actor. Book 9.
Hitman : A Stanley Hastings Mystery / | Wake County Public
Blackmail by Parnell Hall. The return of Stanley Hastings, the sad-sack priv… More. Shelve Blackmail. Book Movie by Parnell Hall. When Manhattan private eye and part-time actor St… More. Shelve Movie. Trial by Parnell Hall. In this bitingly funny eleventh adventure, irrepr… More. Shelve Trial. Scam by Parnell Hall.
Stanley Hastings has a client - a real-life, mone… More. Shelve Scam. Suspense by Parnell Hall. Private eye Stanley Hastings is determined to fin… More. Shelve Suspense.
Cozy by Parnell Hall. In this new Stanley Hastings mystery novel, the p… More. Shelve Cozy. Perhaps best known for his mystery novels featuring Manhattan private detective Stanley Hastings, Parnell Hall also authors the "Steve Winslow" series of novels, about an iconoclastic lawyer, under the pseudonym J. He is also author of a series focusing on a hard-drinking, middle-aged sleuth known as the "puzzle lady. Although a licensed detective, this frustrated playwright and happily married family man makes his living as an "ambulance chaser" for a personal-injury lawyer, signing up clients and taking their statements.
The criminal cases that come his way, often accidentally, cause him to rely on his "street smarts," his wit, and the overcoming of his realistic fears as he fumbles his way toward solutions. Hall, according to reviewer Marvin Lachman in the Armchair Detective, based Hastings's character on some of his own experiences as an aspiring writer and New York City dweller.
In Hall's debut novel, Detective, Hastings finds his first client murdered and tracks down the killer at his own expense. Lachman found the puzzle element of the novel to be "rather ordinary," although its writing makes it "an often amusing, fast-paced first novel with considerable suspense. As in Detective, Hastings collaborates with Police Sergeant MacAuliff, whom author Hall uses as a foil for his protagonist and a source of witty observations on police procedure.
In his third published adventure, Favor, Hastings is sent to Atlantic City to investigate MacAuliff's sleazy son-in-law as a favor for that police sergeant.
He infiltrates the mob using what a Publishers Weekly contributor called "a hilarious, albeit unbelievable, modus operandi" and plunges into "a web of intrigue that is pure entertainment for the reader. Hastings's fourth volume, Strangler, finds him accused by an unpleasant police sergeant not MacAuliff of committing a series of murders by strangulation.
His clearing of his own name results in what Library Journal contributor Rex E. Klett called "a great addition to the series. With his next assignment, in Client, Hastings follows a client's wife to a motel, falls asleep on his stakeout, and finds himself framed for her murder. This prompted Booklist 's Stuart Miller to call Hastings "delightfully inept," and the case "yet another highly readable mystery starring one of the most unusual private eyes ever to take on a case. Klett, Client represented "continued high quality" in the series, marked by a swift, humorous style.
Juror finds Hastings performing jury duty on a case which he admits is boring. The murder in question is that of a fellow juror, a woman whom Hastings had been driving to the courtroom each morning. The novel provides an occasion for observations on jury trials and on murder investigations which a Publishers Weekly contributor found to be the book's strong points.
Kliatt contributor Rita M. Fontinha found Juror "suspenseful to the end, and great fun too," and Armchair Detective contributor Jon L. Breen declared it "hugely enjoyable" for its "terrific stunt payoff" and its observations on the jury system. Hall's next Hastings title, Shot, finds Hastings working for a wealthy woman to investigate her own boyfriend; the boyfriend is then found dead and once again, Hastings is a suspect.
The plot, a Publishers Weekly contributor warned, contains an "all-encompassing red herring" but is enlivened by two climaxes—one comic and one serious—and "vivid looks at Manhattan's seamier side. In Actor, Hastings accepts a friend's invitation to perform in a Connecticut theater group; the stabbing death of the stage manager provides the crime, and the setting affords an opportunity for observations about the denizens of the theatrical profession.
Hall knows the theatrical drill to which he hilariously subjects Stanley. Blackmail concerns an attractive female client who hires Hastings to pay off a blackmailer for pornographic pictures in which the client does not even appear. The client then turns up dead, as does another individual, and an elaborate sting is gradually uncovered by Hastings with the aid of his wife, Alice. Booklist contributor Wes Lukowsky found this "an intelligent, unusual spin on the tough-guy detective," and called the dialogue "the best this side of George V.
Hastings's tenth published adventure, Movie, gives him the opportunity to observe the world of filmmaking, as a screenplay of his is accepted by a producer. Murder enters when a homeless man is killed near the set, and then a sound technician is also found dead. A Kirkus Reviews contributor felt the plot does not meet the level of the witty banter in the book, but that "anyone who can relax and ignore the mystery is guaranteed a good time.
Hastings's next book appearance, in Trial, finds him once again on his professional turf as an ambulance-chaser for a lawyer. His employer is defending a man accused of murdering his wife; the defendant has an apparently good alibi concerning a poker game, but Hastings has doubts, and then one of the poker players is killed.
The novel ends with a surprise, and Booklist contributor George Needham called it "lots of fun.
Hastings moves on to an "intricate and fiendishly funny case," in the words of a Publishers Weekly contributor, in his next book, Scam. In this installment of the series an investment banker hires the private detective to collect information about a woman he met in a singles bar. A series of dead bodies impinge on the investigation, and once again Hastings is framed for murder. A Publishers Weekly wrote that "smart dialogue, clever plotting and a perfectly executed reverse scam … result in sparkling entertainment.