A dog trainer-turned-PI and her pit bull go after a killer—with a little help from a courageous dachshund—in this mystery by a Shamus Award winner.
Rachel and Dash have a new client. Well, three new clients. A trio of transvestite working girls want Rachel to investigate the death of one of their own. Rosalinda’s throat was slashed on Halloween right after the Greenwich Village parade. Finding her killer isn’t exactly the NYPD’s top priority—and LaDonna, Chi Chi, and Jasmine are terrified that they’ll be next.
With her cash retainer in hand—and very few leads—Rachel starts digging. What is the connection between Rosalinda and a dead butcher? Soon, with the help of Chi Chi’s mini-dachshund, Clint, Rachel is breaking into a plant in the Meatpacking District. But her future is suddenly on the line when she sets herself up as bait to catch the killer. As Rachel follows a twisting trail with only Dash for protection, she discovers that her foray into “the life” could end with her own untimely death.
The Long Good Boy is the 6th book in the Rachel Alexander and Dash Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
The title pun on Raymond Chandler's The Long Goodbyeand the portrait of an adorable pooch on the front cover may give the reader the impression that Shamus Award-winner Benjamin's sixth Rachel Alexander and Dash mystery is going to be cute. Fuhgeddaboutit! The author's New York mean streets are mean and dirty indeed, if not downright ugly. Fearing they may be the next victims, a trio of transsexual prostitutes ("trannys") hire Rachel to find a friend's killer. Armed only with her formidable pit bull, Dash, Rachel dives into Manhattan's meat-packing district in quest of clues. Benjamin, a former private investigator, depicts this world and its denizens, tranny and otherwise, exceptionally well. Because she has a wonderful ear for dialogue and has interviewed the types of people she writes about, her characters come vividly to life. Among the best of her characters are her dogs, Dash and Clint the dachshund, whom Rachel must train to perform a feat of infiltration worthy of a Mission: Impossible episode. A skilled dog trainer, the author makes her respect for her canine characters' intelligence abundantly clear. There's enough plot to fill a book twice the size of this one, and at times the story seems to go off in several directions at once. More confusing than ingenious, the novel ends like Hamlet, with the cast of villains assembled and with almost as many corpses strewn about the stage. If it's all a bit too complicated, the best elements, the dogs and trannys, make this a mystery worth reading.