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The Brady Coyne series by William G. Tapply
Glen Davis
post Oct 31 2008, 03:23 PM
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I was recommended this series by a volunteer at a local library book sale (where I buy a large portion of my books) I reluctantly bought two entries, cuz they were only a quarter, anyway.

I shoulda saved my 50 cents and bought a coke or something.

Brady Coyne is a Boston based lawyer who occasionally runs arounds and solves a murder or two. He is a cookie cutter Baby Boomer liberal, whose only unique feature is his love for flyfishing.

The first book I got was Spotted Cats. A former big game hunter is killed when thieves steal his prized collection of solid gold pre-Colombian Jaguars. Solved the puzzle in the first chapter. The rest was just going through the motions. Tapply appears to have something to say but lacks the guts to actually say it.

Shadow of Death, written 6 years later is somewhat of an improvement. A client running for the Senate in Massachusetts on the Democratic ticket calls him and says her husband is acting rather odd, and to find out why before it affects the campaign. Of course, the first response of a Republican is to note that the press would just cover it up and bury the story until after the election anyway, so what's the big deal? But we must suspend disabelief.

The trail takes him to New Hampshire where he discovers the secret behind the whole thing. Again, the puzzle really needs work. Rex Stout could get away with having inferior puzzles, because in all other ways he was an excellent writer, and most fans enjoyed the banter with Archie and Wolfe, but Tapply can't get away with that. There's an attempt to be a little more literary with comparisons between Coyne's newly minted relationship, a client's dissolving marriage, and the candidate's marriage, but Tapply isn't a strong enough writer to really make it gel. Oh well, I'll donate them to the next book sale and get rid of them that way. Spread the misery.
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