The Lady in the Silver Cloud

A Stewart Hoag Mystery

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Pub Date 01 Feb 2022 | Archive Date 31 Jan 2022
Penzler Publishers, Mysterious Press

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Ghostwriting sleuth Stewart Hoag investigates the murder of his wealthy neighbor—and discovers her dark, mobbed-up past

A 1955 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud is a fantastically expensive car, especially in the pristine condition of the one owned by Muriel Cantrell. Living in a luxury apartment building on Central Park West, the delicate, sweet 75-year-old woman is a neighbor of Merilee Nash, the beautiful movie star, and Stewart Hoag, whose first book was a sensation but whose career crashed when he became involved with drugs and alcohol. Divorced ten years earlier, Hoagy has been welcomed back into Merilee’s life and apartment.

Apparently universally beloved in her building, residents are shocked when Muriel is murdered after a Halloween party. No one takes it harder than her long-time chauffeur, Bullets Durmond, whose previous job was as an enforcer for the mob. Who in the world would want to harm the silver-haired lady whose major vices were buying shoes and Chanel suits (always in cash), and watching day-time soap operas?

Lieutenant Romaine Very of the NYPD is called to investigate and again seeks help from his friend Hoagy who, along with his basset hound Lulu, has been an invaluable aide in the past. The investigation leads to the unexpected source of Muriel’s wealth, the history of her early years as a hatcheck girl at the Copacabana, how her chauffeur came to be called Bullets, her desperate meth-head nephew, and her wealthy neighbors, who have secrets of their own.

About the Author: 

David Handler is the Edgar Award-winning, critically acclaimed author of several bestselling mystery series. He began his career as a New York City reporter, and wrote his first two novels-Kiddo (1987) and Boss (1988)-about his Los Angeles childhood. In 1988 he published The Man Who Died Laughing, the first of his long-running series of mysteries starring ghostwriter Stewart Hoag and his faithful basset hound Lulu.

Ghostwriting sleuth Stewart Hoag investigates the murder of his wealthy neighbor—and discovers her dark, mobbed-up past

A 1955 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud is a fantastically expensive car, especially...

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ISBN 9781613162910
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Featured Reviews

314 Pages

4 stars

Today a 1955 Silver Cloud could run you as much as $300,000.00. (Yes, for giggles, I googled it.)

All is going very well for Stewart “Hoagy” Hoag. He is now in the process of writing his new book and his editor loves it. Also, after a ten-year break, he is back together with his actress wife Merilee. She invited him to move back into her high-class apartment.

One of their neighbors is Muriel Cantrell, who is a seventy-five year old sprightly woman. She never talks about her past and owns a 1955 Silver Cloud Rolls Royce in pristine condition. Her driver is a tough - looking guy named “Bullets.”

Following a Halloween party during which there was an altercation between two of the men attending, Muriel is found dead at the bottom of the stairs. Her neck is broken. Was she pushed, or did she fall?

Also at the party, in addition to Hoagy and Merilee, are Lieutenant Romain Very and his girlfriend Norma, who is Hoagy’s editor. When Hoagy and Very examine the body, they are convinced she was pushed.

Very asks Hoagy and Lulu, of course, for their help. When they dig into Muriel’s past, they find out some startling information. Between the doormen and the various neighbors, some of whom are abhorrent persons, they have a plethora of suspects. Too many suspects.

This is a very well written and plotted novel, as are all of David Handler’s stories. I really like the cozy relationship between Lulu, Hoagy and Merilee. Lulu is a great character. I like that she goes everywhere with Hoagy. This book has some very nice people, but they are offset by some real losers. Great job, Mr. Handler! Waiting for the next one.

I want to thank NetGalley and Mysterious Press for forwarding to me a copy of this delightful book for me to read, enjoy and review. The opinions expressed here are solely my own.

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