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Ben Abbott Mysteries by Justin Scott

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StoneDust by Justin Scott

After reading Justin Scott’s debut Ben Abbott mystery, HardScape, Donald Westlake said of Abbott, “I’m looking forward to house and villain hunting with him again.” Ben Abbott is back in StoneDust, a complex, richly plotted, and enthralling mystery that tests this witty, literate realtor and fledgling detective as never before. The Fisks’ weekend party, a “sleep-over” for select couples, remains the talk of the town long after Reg Hopkins’ body turns up in an isolated covered bridge. It appears Reg may have paid the party a fleeting visit—before dying in a way everyone swears was impossible. Ben, who used to play backyard baseball with Reg and all the party guests, must take up the matter with a hometown cast of friends, foes, and family—including his ninety-year-old Aunt Connie, the rising politician and his sometime lover Vicky McLachlan, the comely and ambitious State Police Detective Marian Boyce, and a pair of deadly housebreakers. Soon everybody’s getting much more in the way of kicks than they bargained for. In the New York Times Book Review, Marilyn Stasio called Ben Abbott, “a likeable guy of sound mind and decent character.... In a field of fiction overrun with middle-aged boys and girls at play, let’s call him an unreconstructed grown-up.” StoneDust will surely confirm that assessment.