Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

I have another 800 reviews at my archive blog: http://www.deadtreesreviewarchive.blogspot.com (please visit).

I post my reviews to:

2 yahoo groups
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I am always looking for more places to post my reviews.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Crooked, Brian M. Wiprud, Bantam Dell, 2006

This is a rather quirky mystery novel that involves a very valuable stolen painting, drilling for gold in New York Harbor, and various types of dysfunctional relationships.

Nicholas Pahlinic is a hustler and retriever-of-missing-items for big insurance companies. He is the family black sheep who knows every lowlife and nook & cranny in the city. His brother, Garth, is a taxidermist. His latest job leads him to Beatrice Belarus, a high-powered art dealer who has no problem with rolling over people to get what she wants. She also has a very large cash-flow problem.

Drummond Yager has spent his adult life traveling around the world retrieving things for Newcastle Warranty. Usually, the assignments took him to places like deep in the Amazon rain forest, or deepest, darkest Africa. He is in New York City while his employer looks for the best way to get rid of him. Barney Swires is a city employee with a 'sixth sense' about finding things like abandoned maintenance tunnels and unused sewers deep under the city. He is confident that he has found the site where, in the 1850s, a ship went down carrying millions of dollars in gold. The spot is now part of an unofficial island in New York Harbor. Some "unofficial" drilling is needed, so the Pazzo brothers are hired. They are roughnecks who play in a local hockey league. It's the sort of game where the broken bones and concussions are counted at the end. Everything manages to come together at the end of the story.

This is a really good piece of writing. The mystery part will keep the reader's interest, along with the unique characters. It feels like it was written by someone who knows his way around the less well-known parts of the Big Apple.

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