Howard Norman has turned out a body of always interesting work. He creates the atmosphere of an old gumshoe detective novel in this exploration of a family secret which forces itself into the open. Jacob Rigolet finds himself in the middle involving his mother's past, her connection to a famous photograph, and his own origins.
" An] ingeniously plotted novel . . . Norman knows how to weave an enticing and satisfying mystery, one tantalizing thread at a time." -- New York Times Book Review
A witty, engrossing homage to noir, from National Book Award finalist Howard Norman
Jacob Rigolet, soon-to-be former assistant to a wealthy art collector, looks up from his seat at an auction--his mother, former head librarian at the Halifax Free Library, is walking almost casually up the aisle. Before a stunned audience, she flings an open jar of ink at master photographer Robert Capa's Death on a Leipzig Balcony. Jacob's police detective fianc e is assigned to the ensuing interrogation. My Darling Detective delivers a fond nod to classic noir, as Jacob's understanding of the man he has always assumed to be his father unravels against the darker truth of Robert Emil, a police officer suspected of murdering two Jewish residents during an upswing of anti-Semitism in 1945. The denouement, involving a dire shootout and an emergency delivery--it's the second Rigolet to be born in the Halifax library in a three decades--is Howard Norman at his uncannily moving best.
"Norman works with an offhand ease and grace . . . Whimsy is balanced by moments of powerfully evoked realism." -- Washington Post