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Rick Yancey

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The Highly Effective Detective
by Rick Yancey   

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Books by Rick Yancey
· Alfred Kropp The Seal of Solmon
· The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp
                >> View all



Publisher:  St. Martins ISBN-10:  0312347529 Type: 

Copyright:  St. Martins ISBN-13:  9780312347529

Rick Yancey's Site

Unassuming and adorable, protagonist Teddy Ruzak has dreamed of becoming a detective since childhood. When his ailing mother dies, leaving him a substantial nest egg, he quits his job as a night watchman to become a private eye. Teddy employs the help of his loyal secretary Felicia (formerly his favorite waitress at the local diner) in unraveling his first case, a hit-and-run of a family of geese. What can only be called a wild goose chase quickly evolves into an investigation of a vicious murder.

From the critically acclaimed author of Confessions of a Tax Collector and The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp comes this hilarious and thrilling series debut featuring a lovable but bumbling private investigator.

Meet Teddy Ruzak, the oversized, over-his-head P.I. whose first case begins with the hit-and-run killing of a gaggle of goslings.

After his ailing mother dies, Teddy quits his job as a night watchman to fulfill his childhood dream of being a detective. With little planning and even less foresight, he hangs up his shingle and hires his favorite waitress from the local diner to be his Girl Friday.

And his first case? Bringing to justice the thoughtless driver who mows down six baby geese. Not the most exciting assignment--until Teddy's "wild-goose chase" quickly evolves into an investigation of a vicious murder.

Professional Reviews

Publisher's Weekly
Starred Review. Would-be detective Theodore "Teddy" Ruzak gets his PI career off to a spectacular start in this highly entertaining novel from Yancey (The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp), the first in a new mystery series. Following the death of his mother, Ruzak fulfills a long-held dream of setting up a private detective agency in his hometown, Knoxville, Tenn. He soon gets his first case—who drove the mysterious black SUV that mowed down a row of baby geese crossing the street? As Ruzak sets out in his own remarkably indirect way to uncover the culprit, he slowly discovers he may have landed way over his head. Ruzak, reminiscent at first of both A Confederacy of Dunces's Ignatius J. Reilly and of Columbo, fast becomes his own uniquely realized character. After starting as an especially well-drawn out shaggy dog story, the narrative takes unforeseen, utterly believable twists that wind to an extremely satisfying close. By turns touching, suspenseful and hilarious, this is sure to be one of the most well regarded—and enjoyed—mystery debuts of the year. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved

School Library Journal
From School Library Journal
Adult/High School–With the money Teddy Ruzak inherits from his mother, the overweight man decides to start his own business. Failing to become a policeman, he's been a security guard for years; now is the time to break out and get into detective work, the reason he was first drawn to law enforcement. Ruzak is an ironic antihero who not only doesn't know much about detecting, but also can't avoid getting suckered by his newly hired assistant (who goes on shopping sprees with his money) or the local deputy (who is too interested in the case of the gosling hit-and-run to be above anyone's suspicion except Ruzak's). The small-town Tennessee setting is both corny and cozy, but not all of the characters here are sweet: in addition to the gosling killer, there's a man with two dead wives and an arsonist. No character is more than stereotypical, and plot twists range from gentle turns to hairpins, but the story is fun and quick. Teens who enjoy Lawrence Block's Burglar books (Morrow/Avon) will find that this one appeals as well.–Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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