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monkeysraincoatMore English village mystery girl than L.A. hard-boiled detective girl, I was pleasantly surprised by Elvis Cole, a man so secure that he not only appreciates the small lessons and lifestyle irony represented by Disney characters but populates his office with them. This book was a nice mix of suburban mayhem and military organisation. An interesting translation of skills previously learned in Vietnam is used to restore a small boy to his mother in the midst of drug-related violence; in the process, a welcome transformation is wrought on the boy’s mother, Ellen. Cole and Pike (his quietly dangerous and enigmatic partner) are contemporary knights, embodying the essence of Arthurian tradition (with a few ad-libs) in the midst of palm trees and populated valleys, crowded freeways, and disparate lives. I will definitely put on my sunglasses and read a few more.

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