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Unfortunately, Stanley s damned path leads to his finding Albrecht dead. Well now he s been challenged, so he has to This debut entry in the author's mystery series features actor-turned private investigator Stanley Hastings. Well now he s been challenged, so he has to take the case; maybe Stanley will finally prove that he s a real detective. To solve this case Stanley must descend into the modern-day inferno that consists of drugs and mob operations.

Will he come out of it alive A first novel from Parnell Hall, playwright and screenwriter, and actor, introduces erstwhile detective Stanley Hastings who, while engaged in phony detective work in aid of an insurance swindle, stumbles into his first real case. This is the author's first novel and the initial book in his now lengthy series featuring this Manhattan-based detective, a most unusual private eye. When an almost client turns up dead, this PI goes into an underworld of coke and kicks among the Big Boys of Miami and New York, taking the kind of risks that can get a guy real dead - real fast.

Hardcover , pages. Published June 10th by Dutton Books first published January 1st New York State United States. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Detective , please sign up. Lists with This Book.

The Stanley Hastings Series by Parnell Hall

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Aug 22, Col rated it it was amazing Shelves: Unfortunately, Stanley's damned path leads to his finding Albrecht dead. Well now he's been challenged, so he has to take the case; maybe Stanley will finally prove that he's a real detective.

Read last December and really enjoyed. If I had more time and money and less existing books on the TBR pile I'd happily hoover up the entire odd long series. A few scrambled thoughts, which hardly do the book justice Our man Stanley Hastings during the course of the novel, proves himself to be a real detective having had no notion of being one at the start. He's more of an ambulance chaser, signing up victims of accidents so that his company can sue for damages. A man mistakes Hastings for a real detective and wants his help.

He's a gambler and in over his head.

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Victim of some crooked games, he's now moving drugs for the mob, only he's been shaving the loads and is in bigger trouble than before. Hastings gives him the bum's rush, but when the man is murdered soon after, he feels compelled to look into things. I really liked how the story unfolded, Hastings going from A to B to C, all the while counting the pennies and pretending to his wife and employer that he is just going about his daily business. Money is tight in the Hastings household and every dollar counts.


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The most dangerous thing I do is go into some pretty undesirable neighborhoods to interview prospective clients. He looked at me. He just kept looking at me. It was hard to read his expression. But something else, too. He blinked his eyes. His lips moved, but nothing came out. He opened the door and went out.

The door closed behind him.

A book with a bit of everything - story, pace, character, setting, drugs, the mob, humour. A tick in every box. Hall presents Hastings with an intriguing dilemna at the end of the book, a real sea-change moment which could alter the course of his life for ever - a car crash moment. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry at his choice. A light read, but the ending haunted me for ages afterwards.

Read in December, Published - Page count - Source - purchased copy Format - kindle https: Dec 11, Tom Bradley rated it liked it. The novel introduces us to Hastings, a licensed private detective who for some reason continually reminds us he does not consider himself a real private detective. Until he meets a man who wishes to report a murder: At this point, I expected the novel to take off and keep me riveted.

And while it was interesting and Hastings eventually does put the pieces together to determine whodunit, it seemed as if the author dragged things out a bit too much—with the aforementioned descriptions of his day-to-day work interfering with what could have been a crackling story.

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Perhaps subsequent Stanley Hastings adventures do, so I plan to read more of Mr. Maybe one day he will convince himself he is one. Jul 01, Alan Mills rated it really liked it Shelves: This is the first in a series, featuring Stanley Hastings. In theory, he's a licensed New York City private detective, but in reality, he's an ambulance chaser. He gets calls from the lawyer he works with Richard, a high volume advertises on TV personal injury lawyer , and Stanley's job is to sign up the clients, take a basic history, and get pictures of the defective stairs, crack in the sidewalk, etc.

Stanley doesn't feel very good for himself, and thinks he is "really This is the first in a series, featuring Stanley Hastings. Stanley doesn't feel very good for himself, and thinks he is "really" a writer terrible cliche! But then out of the blue someone wants to hire him for a "real" case--to find out who is trying to kill him. Stanley turns him don flat, but the next morning, the guy ends up dead. Of course--another cliche--Stanley is driven to figure out what happened to his prospective client.

From this set up, Parnell Hall does a really good job of developing a plot, giving Stanley some depth, and keeping the action going. In the end, bad guys get caught, and Stanley learns something about himself. This debut entry in the author's mystery series features actor-turned private investigator Stanley Hastings.

So when Martin Albrecht comes to him with a case for a real detective, Stanley turns him away.

The Detective Is Born!

Unfortunately, Stanley's damned path leads to his finding Albrecht dead. Or at least find out who killed him. Hall does to the private eye formula is very funny, but it is not frivolous. His puzzles, for all their manic nonsense, are fiendish constructions of sound logic.

Book 17: CAPER

Stanley takes on the case of Joe Balfour—who did time for killing a man in a barroom brawl and is now being blackmailed—and winds up breaking and entering, contaminating crime scenes, concealing evidence or else planting it , framing two innocent men for two different homicides, aiding an extortionist, hanging out in a topless bar, blackmailing a few attorneys, and outwitting the cops.

Stanley and Alice Hastings vacation at a New England bed-and-breakfast. The book is full of recipes and the cat solves the crime. The fact the calls continue is the least of her worries. Rising above their contempt, the sad-sack detective plods along after his clients, dodging razors and bombs, and picking up enough hot dish on the publishing trade to write a very funny book of his own.

Cogdill, Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel. The crooked cop framing him for three murders is a problem. Hall does to the private-eye formula is very funny, but it is not frivolous. When negligence lawyer Richard Rosenberg defends a man on trial for murder, he hires Stanley Hastings to investigate.

Stanley Hastings

The reluctant PI takes the stand, and nearly gets found in contempt of court. Hall delights in applying the classic style of high comedy to base genre material, so he can get away with the wordplay, or any other game that takes his fancy. Breen, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. Erle Stanley Gardner would be proud. And maybe just a tad envious.