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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
It's 1920, and Joshua Oates's reputation as a private investigator has improved. His police contact and friend, Detective Dan Burnside of the Boston Police Department, has a case for him: they want him to find a missing tailor in New York City. Sounds simple enough, right? That's definitely not the case, as Oates and Detective Angie Lang find out that certain individuals from the political circle and the underworld are looking for the same man.
Steve Leshin welcomes mystery crime enthusiasts back to the early 20th century. It's the Roaring Twenties, and the hard-drinking private investigator Joshua Oates returns with a new case in A Darker Shade of Greed, a standalone tale perfect for both fans and new readers of the Joshua Oates Adventure series. Sporadic and brief historical facts are conveniently included, ingeniously fortifying the sense of place and pictorial elements. Leshin's writing is splendid; the fast-paced plot flows with an engaging narrative that fuses a mystery theme with the grit of the '20s. The Prohibition Era has no effect on Oates's drinking habit, and his complicated romance with Angie teases readers about their ambivalent future.
Just as its predecessor, the story is not without its prominent line-up of historical figures: Damon Runyon and Bat Masterson once again prove to be Oates's best aides when needed, and American racketeer Arnold Rothstein showcases his notoriety as one of the antagonists. The larger-than-life Babe Ruth is also part of the famous line-up, which will definitely delight baseball fans. Survival and luck are recurring aspects as the cat-and-mouse game tests the characters in an illustrative and suspense-filled way. With a brilliant epilogue, A Darker Shade of Greed is another entertaining sleuth fest from Leshin.