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Phantom Angel: A Benji Golden Mystery    by David Handler order for
Phantom Angel
by David Handler
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2015 (2015)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Phantom Angel follows Runaway Man as the second in David Handler's amusing series starring twenty something Benji Golden who looks much younger than his years.

Benji's father (now dead) was an ex-cop who started a PI agency along with his voluptuous wife Abby (once the only Jewish pole dancer in New York City). Benji investigates for that agency, Golden Legal Services, with help from his mother and gorgeous redheaded Rita, a research and computer whiz who lap danced to put herself through school.

As Phantom Angel opens, they have a new client - Broadway legend Morrie Frankel, whose $65 million dollar musical adaptation of Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights is going nowhere fast. Funds are scarce and it's rumored that his leads can't sing. Frankel desperately needs an investor angel.

He claims to have found said angel in elusive hedge fund billionaire R. J. Farnell, but the man is not to be found. Farnell's girlfriend, Jonquil Beausoleil, has disappeared as well. When he sees her picture, something in her eyes strikes a chord with Benji and makes him shudder. He starts looking for her.

Complicating matters further, Frankel's assistant Leah tells Benji that he's 'gotten in over his head with some very dangerous people', the largest crime family in New York. And NYPD's Organized Crime Control Bureau has their eye on that family's activities and don't appreciate Benji's interference.

There are deaths and plenty of deception before Benji figures out what is really going on here. And though the story deals with some serious issues it's also well spiced with humor. This is an entertaining series with a very engaging lead.

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