By Richard Helms
Mystery / Amateur Sleuth
by: Pam Stone, MyShelf.Com
Joker Poker is the first in a series of books by Richard Helms featuring his reluctant knight Errant and adventurer Pat Gallegher. The series is set in New Orleans.
Pat Gallegher is a jazz coretist in a dive bar in New Orleans. He owes twenty thousand dollars to a loan shark so he works off his debt doing collections. He also does favors for friends with locating people when they cannot turn to the law; I guess you could call him a jack-of-all-trades. Cully Tucker, Gallegher's lawyer, shows up one night at the bar with a classy lady who needs help in finding her lover, and she can not turn to the police because she is married. Mrs. Vincouer thinks that her husband may of had something to do with the disappearance.
This mystery is one of the good, old-fashioned kinds that we used to read and love, one where the protagonist is hard as nails and goes to any lengths, legal or otherwise, to solve his case. This book is full of quirky characters that really give the story substance and add to the book's greatness.
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