"We started out as a partnership. You will meet my partner Percy Gray tomorrow. He is a retired police detective, it was his dream, and he talked me into it."

A mystery revolving around a private investigation agency, Gray and Armstrong, the book takes us through the inner and outer workings of what it takes to be a detective. There is a lot of work to go around for these members of a new agency, especially as they are often utilized by the police for various cases. A missing teenager, an Indian diplomat and former friend of James Armstrong, a former schoolmate of Alicia’s who abandoned her four-year-old child to them due to her drug addiction, a pedophile named Bull, a disappearing 18-year-old, possible murders at a nursing home, arson, and being pursued by a former crime boss are some of the main plots. Throw in a bookstore run by Granny, who raised Alicia, developing friendships, a recovering veteran in need of career help, and the do-good activities of all of these people, and you will find a story of interesting activities.

While each criminal investigation is a story in its own right, they meld together to form an ongoing mystery of what it is like to be part of a private investigative agency, an agency that is positively impacted by the closeness of the family members, co-workers, and friendships. It’s a light mystery without the detail and gore of many mysteries. The story also significantly examines people being good and doing good, although some of these events are somewhat unlikely in the real world. However, this aspect can help restore one’s faith in humanity as the goodness overcomes the badness of others. The dialogue comes across as a bit stiff and formal; however, one adjusts to the style as one keeps reading. Because of its easy reading and easy plots, it may be a good beach read.

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