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Blowing Smoke

by Barbara Block

In the seventh installment of Barbara Block's critically-acclaimed mystery series, private investigator Robin Light sets out to uncover the truth about an elderly heiress' connection to an enigmatic stranger who may -- or may not -- be communicating with the dead. With Syracuse suffocating under a shroud of relentless summer heat, Robin Light's exotic pet store business is slow -- and her semi-pro detective business is even slower. But Robin's seasonal tedium and her financial crisis are about to be remedied, thanks to a trio of adult siblings who are certain something sinister is simmering at their widowed mother's mansion. Rose Taylor's children -- Hillary, Louis and Amy -- are convinced their inheritance is being squandered by their mother, whom they believe is the unwitting victim of a scam. The con woman in question: so-called pet psychic Pat Humphrey, who located Rose's supposedly kidnapped cat and won not just a substantial reward, but the woman's undying gratitude -- and a place inher will. Assuming she's a fraud, Robin visits Humphrey, posing as a client seeking advice about her dog -- and comes away with startling evidence that the woman might just be the real thing. Then Pat Humphrey disappears -- just as the body of the Taylors' buxom maid is found floating in the swimming pool. As the sizzling dog days unfold, Robin finds herself embroiled in a case that takes one shocking twist after another, as she tracks a cold-blooded killer.

Blowing Smoke

by Barbara Block

An intricately plotted story with red herrings galore. The corking-good plot will keep you turning the pages until the very end. An outstanding addition to a wonderful series. --BooklistBlowing SmokeGetting involved with the rich and their problems is never a good idea, as far as amateur P.I. Robin Light is concerned. But when the mercury is rising to a steamy level, the bills are unpaid, and the investigation promises real money, the only answer is yes.Robin figures the case to be a no-brainer: the three adult children of an eccentric heiress, Rose Taylor, are convinced their mother is the victim of a scam operated by a psychic named Pat Humphrey, who has just earned a large place in Rose's will. Assuming the woman is a fraud, Robin pays her a visit and is startled to discover that Pat could be the real thing--and that she knows far more about the Taylor family than she admits. . .enough to get her killed.As the air grows thick with the promise of rain, the case takes one shocking turn after another, plunging Robin into the dark secrets and twisted loyalties of a troubled family, where money may not buy happiness, but it can be a powerful motive for murder. Now, Robin's own premonition about the rich is coming true, because a cold-blooded killer is about to turn the dog days of summer into the most dangerous season of Robin's life."Interlocking mysteries and layered family secrets nudge Block's seventh toward Ross MacDonald territory." --Kirkus Reviews"This female PI ranks right up there with the tough-guy detectives in taking her lumps and dishing them out as well." --Library Journal

Chutes And Adders

by Barbara Block

Recently widowed Robin Light runs Noah's Ark, a Syracuse pet shop specializing in puppies and parakeets, bunnies and boas. Robin can't resist rescuing a stray kitten--or finding the vicious killer who set her up to take the rap. . .for murder.Deadly VenomThe package looked innocent enough. . .until it was opened and the rare, saw-backed viper attacked. By the time Robin got her co-worker to the hospital, he was dead, the cops had unearthed a small fortune in her shop's heating vent, and she's been fingered as the prime suspect in a particularly nasty murder case.Now, as Robin struggles to clear her name and to keep Noah's Ark afloat, she finds herself following a trail strewn with corpses. . .straying far from her pampered pets and into a den of venomous secrets where someone stalks her with the cold-blooded skill of a cobra. . .someone coiled and ready to strike.

Endangered Species

by Barbara Block

For Robin Light, running a pet store is a decent way to make a living -- but solving the occasional crime is much more interesting. So when neighborhood tough kid Manuel and his cousin, Eli, wander into her shop with a wild story about a suitcase full of smuggled Cuban cigars, Robin can't resist nosing around. But when Eli's roommate turns up dead, Robin discovers she may be next in line.

Endangered Species

by Barbara Block

Robin Light was recently named one of Booklist's Top Five Lesser-Known Female Sleuths. Soon she will have outgrown that category. --Booklist The Only Thing She'd Endangered. . .For Robin Light, running a pet store was a decent way to make a living--but solving the occasional crime was much more interesting. So when neighborhood tough kid Manuel and his cousin Eli wandered into her shop with a wild story about a suitcase full of smuggled Cuban cigars, Robin couldn't resist nosing around.Was Her LifeBut what she found wasn't exactly the harmless--if illegal--scam she expected. Someone was trading in something far rarer than exotic tobacco--something worth much more than easy cash, to somebody who was prepared to kill for it. And when Eli's roommate turned up dead, Robin discovered she might be next in line. . ."This female PI ranks right up there with the tough-guy detectives in taking her lumps and dishing them out as well." --Library Journal"Barbara Block's Robin Light mysteries are some of the best on the market today." --Midwest Book Review

In Plain Sight

by Barbara Block

It's raining in Syracuse. Amateur sleuth Robin Light half-wishes her pet store, Noah's Ark, would just get up and float away--,business is that bad. A client finally comes calling--,only to wind up dead a few days later. . .floating in the local reservoir. If there's one thing Robin's sure of it's that Marsha Pennington didn't kill herself. Not when the dead woman's malicious husband was fighting for custody of Marsha's beloved twin Shih Tzus. Fueled by her diet of junk food and Scotch, and with some much-needed help from her ex-cop friend George Simpson, Robin searches for the link between the woman's murder, a runaway student, a bookie, and an incredible epidemic of bats. But for Robin, it's already too late. She has been marked for certain extinction by a vicious killer who waits. . .in plain sight.

In Plain Sight

by Barbara Block

It's raining in Syracuse. Amateur sleuth Robin Light half-wishes her pet store, Noah's Ark, would just get up and float away-business is that bad. A client finally comes calling-only to wind up dead a few days later. . .floating in the local reservoir. If there's one thing Robin's sure of it's that Marsha Pennington didn't kill herself. Not when the dead woman's malicious husband was fighting for custody of Marsha's beloved twin Shih Tzus. Fueled by her diet of junk food and Scotch, and with some much-needed help from her ex-cop friend George Simpson, Robin searches for the link between the woman's murder, a runaway student, a bookie, and an incredible epidemic of bats. But for Robin, it's already too late. She has been marked for certain extinction by a vicious killer who waits. . .in plain sight.

Rubbed Out

by Barbara Block

In the eighth installment of Block's critically-acclaimed mystery series, private investigator Robin Light takes on what seems to be a routine missing person case--and finds herself entangled with murder and the Russian mob.

Rubbed Out

by Barbara Block

Rubbed OutRobin Light has had better days. Business at her pet store is painfully slow. Syracuse has had twenty-three consecutive days of snow. And she's trying to quit smoking. . .again. So when ex-cop Paul Santini calls, offering a cakewalk of a job finding some rich lawyer's runaway wife, Robin takes the case--without getting all the facts. She gets her first clue that something isn't right during a visit to the worried husband, Walter Wilcox. His story--that his wife's therapist is to blame for her disappearance--doesn't ring true, either. It isn't long before Wilcox is singing a different tune, one that includes his eighteen-year-old mistress, expensive trinkets, and Janet Wilcox taking off with a good chunk of their money.Only it isn't really Wilcox's money. It belongs to his employers, a couple of Russian wiseguys who don't take kindly to being swindled--and before Robin can tell Walter that she's found his wife in New York City, she finds him tortured to death. It's too bad for Walter. . .and even worse for Robin. Apparently, lawyers talk a lot under extreme pressure. They even mention names, like that of a certain part-time P.I. Now, with the Russian mob convinced she knows where the money is, Robin is on the run, desperate to find Janet, recover the stolen goods, and keep everyone she knows from becoming landfill. . .

The Scent Of Murder

by Barbara Block

"In The Scent of Murder, Robin, a single woman who finds reptiles, birds and mammals a lot less complicated than her fellow homo sapiens, is back in action, pursuing a vanished teenager through a seamy underworld of drugs, violence and murder. " "Robin was behind the fish tanks of her Syracuse pet shop when the girl walked in the door. Fifteen-year-old Amy Richmond wasn't the type you could forget, not with her electric blue hair, corpse-white lipstick, and in-your-face nose ring. The ferret she was holding was albino, and wearing a rhinestone halter. But her appearance paled beside the message she had for Robin: "Murphy said you'd help me. "" "The very words sent chills down Robin's spine. Murphy was her ex-husband, who'd lived fast and died too young. A troubled, secretive man, he'd concealed a lot of things from his wife. Like the fact that Amy was his daughter. But soon Amy will need more help than Robin can give her: she has just become the prime suspect in the cold-blooded killing of her stepfather, the wealthy, powerful Dennis Richmond. " "Suddenly Robin finds herself moving between the exclusive, privileged circles in which Amy grew up and the edgy, drug-infested world of squalor into which she seems to have disappeared. Hitting up on her street connections - including a hip ne'er-do-well named Manuel - Robin gets plugged into a secret network of runaways, addicts and strippers, where a street-level lowlife and electronics genius named Toon Town appears to be calling all the shots. "--BOOK JACKET. Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The Scent Of Murder

by Barbara Block

Robin Light was behind the fish tanks of her Syracuse pet shop when the teenager walked in the door. With her electric blue hair, corpse-white lipstick, and in-your-face nose ring, Amy Richmond wasn't the type you could forget. But her appearance paled beside the message she had for Robin, "Murphy said you'd help me."Murphy was Robin's ex-husband who'd lived fast and died too young. And now, his 15-year-old daughter Amy was in trouble recently named the prime suspect in the sensational murder of her wealthy stepfather. Suddenly, the inveterate sleuth finds herself moving through the edgy, drug-infested world into which Amy has disappeared. Hitting up on her street connections, Robin plugs into a secret network of strippers, addicts, and runaways, where a low-life named Toon Town appears to be calling all the shots, and where Robin has to find a terrified young girl, before it's too late.

Twister

by Barbara Block

"Skillfully carries readers to a satisfying conclusion, Robin Light is an engaging amateur sleuth whom readers will look forward to meeting again."--Publishers WeeklyFull of hairpin turns and gritty, non-stop action, Twister marks the second appearance of Barbara Block's hip, outrageous redhead, Robin Light--an amateur sleuth with a soft spot for puppies, parakeets, bunnies and boas. . .and a knack for finding herself at the scene of the crime.Robin is just getting Noah's Ark, her Syracuse pet shop, settled into its new digs after a disastrous fire when her old friend Lynn Gordon appears in her white linen suit and matching Jaguar to whisk Robin away to the wrong side of town. Robin figures she's just along for the ride. . .until Lynn is found kneeling over a dead body and confession to a crime Robin is certain she didn't commit.As the city seethes--and temperatures climb--the crime trail twists and turns and finally heats up to reveal shocking ties to another murder. . .and Robin finds herself caught in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse. It is a game she intends to win. . .If she survives long enough. . .

Vanishing Act

by Barbara Block

Robin Light's client was in his prime: mid-twenties and all-American. But Bryan Hayes was no happy-go-lucky guy. For four months he had been looking for his sister, Melissa, a college sophomore who waved goodbye outside her dorm and disappeared without a trace. Everyone from the university's head of security to the dean and the police have their theories about what happened to her. And so does Bryan. He's blaming it on frat boy charmer, Tommy West, Melissa's ex-boyfriend.But Robin is developing a theory of her own. If Melissa met with foul play, why did she take her clothes, her purse, and her cash? If it was such a well-planned vanishing act why is Tommy so reluctant to talk? And why does Jill Evans, Melissa's best friend and fatal victim of a bizarre accident, keep figuring into the picture? It's all as baffling as Melissa's disappearance. Combing the campus for clues, Robin has suddenly found herself moving to the head of the class, and closer to the most challenging mystery of her career. Where it will lead she is afraid to guess, but the secret pasts of a surprising array of suspects are about to come to light, placing Robin in deadly jeopardy. . .and forcing her into a desperate gamble for the truth.

Vanishing Act

by Barbara Block

Robin is trying to find out why a young college student vanished without a trace. But if Melissa met with foul play, why did she take her clothes, her purse, and her cash? Combing the campus for clues, Robin is placed in deadly jeopardy as the secret pasts of a surprising array of suspects come to light.

Vanishing Act

by Barbara Block

Robin Light's client was in his prime: mid-twenties and all-American. But Bryan Hayes was no happy-go-lucky guy. For four months he had been looking for his sister, Melissa, a college sophomore who waved goodbye outside her dorm and disappeared without a trace. Everyone from the university's head of security to the dean and the police have their theories about what happened to her. And so does Bryan. He's blaming it on frat boy charmer, Tommy West, Melissa's ex-boyfriend.But Robin is developing a theory of her own. If Melissa met with foul play, why did she take her clothes, her purse, and her cash? If it was such a well-planned vanishing act why is Tommy so reluctant to talk? And why does Jill Evans, Melissa's best friend and fatal victim of a bizarre accident, keep figuring into the picture? It's all as baffling as Melissa's disappearance. Combing the campus for clues, Robin has suddenly found herself moving to the head of the class, and closer to the most challenging mystery of her career. Where it will lead she is afraid to guess, but the secret pasts of a surprising array of suspects are about to come to light, placing Robin in deadly jeopardy. . .and forcing her into a desperate gamble for the truth.

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