Jack Batten, after a brief and unhappy career as a lawyer, has been a very happy freelance writer for many years. The author of forty books, Batten has reviewed jazz for the Globe and Mail, and, for twenty-five years, reviewed movies on CBC Radio. He currently writes the biweekly “Whodunnit” column in the Toronto Star. He lives in Toronto.
Mystery-solving criminal lawyer Crang returns to investigate the disappearance of two rare books.
Mason Davis is a Toronto antiquarian book dealer, internationally respected in the business. One night, someone blows the safe in his office and makes off with the contents, which include reputed first editions of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park and Emma. Davis, who was still in the process of verifying the stolen books, doesn't even know whether they were the real thing or clever forgeries. But rather than summon the cops to investigate the theft, he turns to his pal Crang, the nervy criminal lawyer, hoping he can retrieve the books before their owner gets wind of the crime. The owner who, by the way, happens to be the richest woman in Canada and a tough cookie who can ruin Davis’s career.
Crang gets on the hunt, learning much about the trade in musty books and the lucrative business it makes for forgers. Just as he seems to be getting close to answers, a shocking development makes things much more complicated — and much more dangerous.