showcases the kind of careful, precise—but seemingly effortless—character-building and devilishly clever plotting that earned Westlake a devoted following among mystery fans. Sporting a spiffy new cover design (Paul Mann’s painting perfectly captures the flavor of the novel), the book will either be a welcome trip down memory lane for Westlake’s older fans or a first-time read for his younger fans. Either way, this delightful mixture of mirth and mystery is classic Westlake.
Fast and easy ... if this isn’t a typical Westlake heist caper, the action does feature frantic searches for 100-year-old lease agreements, bugging devices, and a touch of burglary and arson. And what reader can resist the punning reference to 'felonious monks'? Even a minor work such as this one from this gifted writer is an unalloyed pleasure.
Not much in the way of felonies, and most of the other 15 monks are ciphers. But Westlake’s sweetly consecrated hero, at once disconcertingly direct and utterly clueless, will bring you to your feet cheering for his impossible cause.