The Body Snatchers Affair
A Carpenter and Quincannon Mystery #3
by Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini
Forge, $25.99, 224pp
Published: January 2015
John Quincannon and Sabina Carpenter are private detectives in 1895 San Francisco whose latest cases take them from the heights of San Francisco society to the depravity of Chinatown. Quincannon’s case involves a murdered lawyer and the missing body of a Chinese tong leader complicated by an impending tong war that can tear Chinatown apart. Sabina takes on the society case of the kidnapped body of a millionaire whose body is being held for ransom. Along the way the mysterious Englishman who claims to be the late Sherlock Holmes surfaces; following Sabina’s current beau, leading her to look into the man’s past.
This third outing in the Carpenter and Quincannon mystery series is yet another satisfying read. While I suspected early-on how the millionaire’s body had been snatched from a locked mausoleum, it was still fun to follow Sabina as she proved it and caught the perpetrator. Quincannon’s case was a bit more involved, though the perpetrator was indicated about half way through. This time the links between the two partner’s cases were more in terms of the similarity of one helped solve the other as opposed to actual linked crimes but the trip to the solutions was still fun. Mr. Holmes’ appearance was minor, though pivotal in Sabina’s private case involving her beau. And, finally, we see some progress in the relationship between the two business partners. All in all, a very satisfying outing in an entertaining series. ~~ Stephanie L Bannon.