Hush Money was a find. Literally. I found it one day while restocking display shelves at the library where I work. It’s Chuck Greaves’ first novel and any press for it clearly flew under my radar as I recognized neither the author nor the title. From the spine, I could tell it was a newer mystery and when I pulled it out I found a cover featuring a briefcase overflowing with money embossed with a show jumper. A show jumper! That caught my attention. As a big fan of both mysteries and show jumpers I made a fast decision. This book was not going on any display shelf. Instead it went straight to my desk so I could check it out.

[image imageid="4841" includeTitle="false" includeSummary="false"]Hush Money, by Chuck Greaves[/image]

 

Now, if you’re a fan of horses and mysteries, you’re probably making the same mental leap I did. I was expecting a very Dick Francis-like mystery set in the show jumping rather than racing world. But Greaves’ book is something quite different. It’s more of a noir thriller along the lines of The Maltese Falcon complete with the fast talking private investigator and a full cast of femmes fatale. But this is a modern book set in sunny Pasadena, California, and it’s not as dark as a classic Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammett. That said, Greaves does render the style well, especially its trademark witty dialogue and elements of danger and suspense.

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