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Lawnmower Blues

Author: Anderson, Rex Set In . . .
 North America, USA, Texas, Houston
Genre: Mystery
Time Frame: 1990s
Published: 2005
Description: Houstonian Tony Aapt would do almost anything but sell hamburgers to get out of the Private Investigations business he inherited from his grandfather, along with a pile of debt, so he reluctantly subsists on what he wryly refers to as "domestic reconnaissance"- wife- or husband-watching. Suddenly, what appears to be a Big Break arises: Fifty-something Maggie Hawk retires from bartending because she wins a magazine company Sweepstakes, and hires Tony, with an outrageously high retainer, to investigate the murder of her husband and the theft of his very valuable invention. But there are a couple of problems: The husband died thirty-three years ago, a year or so before Tony was born; He was obviously a suicide. Maggie's determined, though, and Tony's broke, so he takes the case - and Maggie's big check - and wings it. The suspects that inhabit and inhibit Tony's cobbled-together investigation include the Cauliflower Man, the Video King and the VK's embezzler mistress, an aging Oldsmobile named Hizzie, Tony's upscaling twice-ex-wife, Rice University with an Aedifice Complex, Dr. "Potty," June Cleaver, the cat-from-hell, a man who dresses like Marlene Dietrich, and Jason Woods, a Texas billionaire who yearns to discover a comet and will buy or kill just about anyone that threatens him. Although Tony goes into the investigation certain there's not much point in it, he surprises himself by stumbling onto indications that Maggie may be correct that her husband's supposed suicide was really a murder. So many indications, in fact, that suddenly he's confronted with a choice: He can sell himself, or he can die.

Rex Anderson grew up on a farm near Ponca City, Oklahoma. He now lives in Houston, which he finds to be a perfect setting for mysteries.

  
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