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 â€śWhodunnitâ€ť column in the Toronto Star. He lives in Toronto.
Crang Plays the Ace
Cause a "poker face" ainâ€™t just a song by Lady Gaga.
Crang is a criminal lawyer. He loves jazz, old movies, Polish vodka, his Volkswagen convertible, and his girlfriend Annie, not necessarily in that order. A wise-cracking WASP with a moral code that owes little to the Law Society of Upper Canada, Crang is equally quick with his lip and fists, but he can tell a fish fork from a pair of brass knuckles when he has to.
The clients who come to Crangâ€™s second-floor walk-up office on Torontoâ€™s Queen Street strip â€“ street punks, two bit robbers, and small-time scam artists â€“ are usually guilty. Crang likes it that way. Mostly he gets them off and theyâ€™re grateful.
So when Matthew Wansborough, wealthy financier and scion of a fine old family, comes to Crang with the novel problem that his $300,000 investment in Ace Disposal Services is too profitable, Crang is puzzled.
Wansborough isnâ€™t Crangâ€™s usual kind of client and Ace isnâ€™t Wansboroughâ€™s usual kind of blue-chip operation.
Crangâ€™s unorthodox investigation of Ace reveals that itâ€™s a dirty player in a dirty business, run by men who oil the wheels of commerce with kickbacks, fraud, muscle â€“ and murder.
Mystery and comedy mix in this entertaining novel, written with the in-depth knowledge of the legal scene and the easygoing style that have made bestsellers of Battenâ€™s previous books. Once readers have made the acquaintance of Crang, they will be eager to read of his future cases in what promises to be a long and successful series.