Charlotte Maughton hires burned-out "private researcher" Fernández Britten to find the truth behind her fiancé's apparent suicide, leading him down a trail of family secrets reminiscent of Ross Macdonald and Robert Towne. The book description from Henry Holt calls Britten's partner Stewart Brulightly "unconventional," which didn't give me the first clue he was a teabag. Upbeat and raunchy of humor, Brulightly balances Britten's world-weary doggedness.
The plot will be familiar to crime fiction fans, but its presentation is what's truly original here. A mature graphic novel drawn in the style of a children's book, its finish is as noir as it gets. I look forward to more from Berry, but something tells me she won't cover the same ground twice. On sale since March 17th.