My Darling Detective by Howard Norman

A witty, engrossing homage to noir from National Book Award finalist Howard Norman

Jacob Rigolet, a soon-to-be former assistant to a wealthy art collector, looks up from his seat at an auction—his mother, former head librarian at the Halifax Free Library, is walking almost casually up the aisle.

Before a stunned audience, she flings an open jar of black ink at master photographer Robert Capa’s “Death on a Leipzig Balcony.” Jacob’s police detective fiancée, Martha Crauchet, is assigned to the ensuing interrogation.

In My Darling Detective, Howard Norman delivers a fond nod to classic noir, as Jacob’s understanding of the man he has always assumed to be his father unravels against the darker truth of Robert Emil, a Halifax police officer suspected but never convicted of murdering two Jewish residents during the shocking upswing of anti-Semitism in 1945.

The denouement, involving a dire shootout and an emergency delivery—it’s the second Rigolet to be born in the Halifax Free Library in a span of three decades—is Howard Norman at his “provocative . . . haunting”* and uncannily moving best.- Janet Maslin, New York Times

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