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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Cicero's Dead is a hard-boiled detective mystery written by Patrick H. Moore. Nick Crane is a private investigator working from his home in the hills outside Los Angeles. He's been hired by Jade Lamont, a young heiress, who's been unable to reach her brother, Richard. Jade's father, Cicero, was killed in a hit-and-run accident, and her mother committed suicide not long thereafter. Richard's all Jade has, and it's been three weeks since she's spoken to him. Jade suggests that Nick start by speaking with Ron Cera, one of Richard's friends and Jade's former lover. Ron is frightened and getting ready to leave town. He tells Nick that Richard's gotten involved with Arnold Clipper, a psychotic sadist, who has given Ron 48 hours to help them find Jade.
Patrick H. Moore's detective story, Cicero's Dead, is exciting and fast-paced. Nick Crane is the perfect hard-boiled detective even if he does come with a wife and young daughter. Moore makes this detective story come alive with his characterizations of this iconic private eye and his crew: Audrey, Bobby and Brad. The plot is finely drawn and filled with action and suspense. I particularly enjoyed watching Nick's team working together and planning strategies, especially those scenes where they're based out of Bobby's house, complete with electrified fencing and pet goats. Bobby is a Vietnam vet suffering from PTSD, and Moore's coverage of Bobby and Nick's working partnership is inspired. There are also some marvelous scenes where Nick gets into it with some police detectives who are itching to blame him for something, but can't seem to get it right. I had so much fun reading Cicero's Dead. It's first-rate hard-boiled detective fiction, and it's most highly recommended.