The first three mysteries in a beloved and acclaimed series featuring “one of the most enjoyable private eyes in crime fiction” (The Toronto Star).
Benny Cooperman is a Canadian Jewish detective with flair, kinder and gentler than the average PI, and squeamish about violence. According to the New York Times: “In Benny Cooperman, the author has leavened the hard-boiled school of detective fiction with comedy and compassion. . . . Canada’s first and foremost private eye is well on his way to becoming a cherished national institution.” Donald E. Westlake adds: “Benny Cooperman is . . . a lot of fun to hang out with.” Collected here are the first three mysteries in the series by Howard Engel, “a born writer, a natural stylist . . . a writer who can bring a character to life in a few lines” (Ruth Rendell).
The Suicide Murders: Myrna Yates shows up at Benny’s office asking him to check up on her husband, who she believes is having an affair. It seems like an open-and-shut case, until Benny finds out that the straying spouse has committed suicide. Still, something doesn’t add up: Chester Yates bought a ten-speed bicycle only two hours before he allegedly killed himself. The detective just may have a murder case on his hands, one in which the suspicions of a wife turn out to be much darker than anyone could have imagined.
The Ransom Game: It’s February and Ontario is frozen—along with Benny’s private investigation business. That is, until Muriel Falkirk knocks on his door. Her boyfriend, Johnny Rosa, is missing. A decade earlier, Rosa had been involved in the kidnapping of an heiress. He was sent to prison and the ransom money was never recovered. Now Rosa’s out on parole, but he’s nowhere to be found—and it turns out Benny isn’t the only one on his trail.
Murder on Location: Niagara Falls is crawling with Hollywood types who are making a movie. But Benny isn’t scouting for talent; he’s investigating the case of a woman named Billie Mason who’s gone missing from Benny’s hometown of Grantham, Ontario. Has she merely been bitten by the acting bug, or is a much more sinister force at play?