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Backstabber: A Hitchcock Sewell Mystery    by Tim Cockey order for
by Tim Cockey
Order:  USA  Can
Hyperion, 2004 (2004)
Hardcover, CD
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

This is Tim Cockey's fifth entry in his Hitchcock Sewell series. And a good one it is. The author has a knack for presenting a scenario and then carrying it through to the end with suspense, humor, and fast-paced action. Never missing a step along the way.

Hitchcock Sewell is a mortician. Which could be why his friend calls him late one night to clean a mess off the floor of his girlfriend's kitchen. The mess is her husband - with a knife in his back. Even though Hitch refuses, that does not free him from suspicion by the Baltimore police. At the same time, there are shenanigans going on at a local nursing home. Of course, our hero can't stay out of that embroglio either.

Cockey's story flows easily. His plot is intricate but never confusing. He ties up all loose ends with a modestly presented flourish that satisfies. I especially enjoyed his dry wit. I did not foresee the ending, although after cogitating about it I realized Cockey had laid down all the necessary clues; I simply did not pick up on them. The only criticism I could possibly have is that two characters' similar names, Sisco and Spiro, proved a tad confusing.

I like Hitch - a rather macho man who is not afraid to show his gentle side. Don't miss this finely crafted mystery.

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