MANSLAUGHTER lives up to what fans have come to expect from Hall's long-running Stanley Hastings PI series. When former convict Joe Balfour hires Hastings, the job seems simple enough, but nothing ever turns out simply for Hastings.

Balfour admits that he killed a man and served time 25 years ago. But now he has received an anonymous note from someone claiming to know of the crime and wanting to arrange a meeting, perhaps for the purpose of blackmail. He wants Hastings to discover who sent the note and why. Soon Hastings gets involved in a new murder case and a tangled web of crimes that only his quirky sense of logic will be able to sort out.

Humor and verbal wordplay are abundant in this lighthearted mystery. Hall is a master at ending chapters with clever one-liners that often steer the plot in a new direction, enticing the reader into the next chapter. MANSLAUGHTER is an entertaining read with plenty of plot twists to keep the reader guessing—usually wrongly. (Mar., 288 pp., $25.00)

Reviewed by: 
Jo Peters