Kaminsky, Stuart M.

Lew Fonesca Novels
Kaminsky, Stuart M. - Florida Authors Vengeance (1999)
From Library Journal
Lew Fonseca is a middle-aged, balding, classic-movie lover, and morose freelance process server in Sarasota, FL. His office is above a Dairy Queen, and he lives a rather solitary life after the death of his wife in a winter auto accident back in Chicago. In addition to his process serving duties, he also dabbles in finding missing persons, and as his luck would have it, two cases fall into his lap on the same day. The first comes from the mother of a teenage girl who is worried that her daughter has become a prostitute under the tender care of her louse of a father. The second one deals with a husband's desperate search to find his wife. With the help of some rather colorful secondary characters, Fonseca soon finds out that there is a tenuous link between the two seemingly disparate cases. Kaminsky has been adept at creating realistic literary characters in his previous mysteries, and if Vengeance is any indication, we'll be hoping to see a lot more of mopey Lew and his merry band of misfits. Scott Brick brings life to these characters without resorting to phony voices or unbelievable accents. All in all, this will be a solid addition to public library collections. Joseph L. Carlson, Lompoc P.L., CA
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Kaminsky, Stuart M. - Florida Authors Retribution (2001)
From Booklist
So far, prolific Kaminsky has given us 20 mysteries starring an old-time sleuth in Hollywood (Toby Peters); 13 featuring a melancholic cop in Moscow (Inspector Porfiry Rostnikov); and 5 with a somewhat depressed Jewish cop in Chicago (Abe Lieberman). Retribution is the second (fittingly, after Vengeance) featuring new series character Lew Fonesca, an extremely depressed process server in Sarasota. Kaminsky's gifts--for visceral scene-setting ("Sarasota is a beautiful orange blanket over a layer of darkness"), for dialogue that has perfect pitch, and for telling details (this depressed hero finds solace in old movies, especially Mildred Pierce)--are much in evidence here. So is his penchant for a fast-moving plot; this one brings back the troubled girl of Vengeance in a nail-biting missing-persons case. This isn't Kaminsky's best--his new hero is too depressed (his only goal is to be left alone) to be intriguing or believable. But a Kaminsky shortfall is still superior to most mysteries. Connie Fletcher
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Kaminsky, Stuart M. - Florida Authors Midnight Pass (2003)
From Publishers Weekly
The prolific Kaminsky cleverly uses Lew Fonesca's struggle to reclaim his own life as a counterpoint to his clients' problems in the third novel (after 2001's Retribution) to star the emotionally wounded sleuth, who's retreated to Sarasota, Fla., in the wake of his wife's death in a hit-and-run car accident in Chicago. Fonesca's therapist, Ann Horowitz, encourages him to face the deep, nearly crippling depression that keeps him in limbo. Sporadic work as a process server helps to pay the rent. The trouble starts with an upcoming proposal in the Sarasota City Council to reopen Midnight Pass between two small islands. Councilman Rev. Fernando Wilkens persuades Fonesca to locate a missing colleague for the decisive vote, a mission that turns fatal. Meanwhile, a frantic man begs him to find his missing wife and children. For a man studiously avoiding social contact, Fonesca's almost hit overload, but a strong sense of fairness keeps him from hiding out and watching old movies. Friends Flo Zink, a big-hearted recovering alcoholic; social worker Sally Porovsky, who wants to be more than just a friend; and Ames McKinney, the older gentleman riding backup, draw him out, inch by inch. Kaminsky's decent, damaged man brings closure for his clients and perhaps solace for himself. He's got a long way to go, which is great news for eager readers.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Kaminsky, Stuart M. - Florida Authors Denial (2005)
From Publishers Weekly
In the brilliant scene that introduces Kaminsky's haunting story, PI Lew Fonesca reluctantly opens his door to Ann Horowitz, a no-nonsense octogenarian therapist. Under Ann's skillful prodding, Lew admits he has been investigating two separate cases, one almost comic and one intensely tragic. A nursing-home resident is certain she witnessed a murder and asks Lew to prove she's not dotty. While most readers will spot the significant clue in the old woman's tale, all will be surprised by the only-in-Florida twist. The second case—the search for the hit-and-run driver who killed a 14-year-old boy—has plunged Lew into black despair, for it reignites the fierce, unrelenting anguish of losing his wife the very same way four years earlier. Finding the boy's killer has not eased his broken soul. Ann finally asks Lew the question that will change everything: if you're so good at finding people, why aren't you looking for the person who killed your wife? Readers familiar with the series, having watched Lew swamped by sadness in three earlier books (Vengeance, etc.), will especially appreciate the possibilities of his decision, but even those who meet him for the first time cannot help cheering for him. <
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kaminsky, Stuart M. - Florida Authors Always Say Goodbye (2006)
From Booklist
Kaminsky has a knack for creating oddball characters in rollicking plots. Lew Fonesca is one of the more recent additions to the Kaminsky stable, which includes old-time Hollywood sleuth Toby Peters, Moscow Inspector Rostnikov, and Chicago cop Abe Lieberman. A wreck of a man, Fonesca is perhaps Kaminsky's darkest character, a man still reeling from grief after his wife's death by a hit-and-run driver in Chicago four years previously. The earlier books in the Fonesca series showed him scraping by as a process server in Sarasota, clinging to his depression but sometimes coaxed into solving other people's problems. This time Lew's octogenarian therapist has coaxed him into returning to Chicago to find his wife's killer. This is good for Lew but bad for the plot, which turns implausible when Lew determines far too quickly who is responsible for his wife's death. Transplanting Lew to Chicago is like trying to transplant a palm tree--it looks good for a while but quickly loses color. Followers of the series will want to read this one, but it's definitely not one of the best. Connie Fletcher
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Kaminsky, Stuart M. - Florida Authors Bright Futures (2009)
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. At the start of the superb sixth Lew Fonesca hard-boiled whodunit (after 2006s Always Say Goodbye) from MWA Grand Master Kaminsky, 17-year-old Greg Lagerman, a student at a school for the gifted, hires Fonesca, whos been working as a process server in Sarasota, Fla., since losing his wife to a hit-and-run driver in Chicago, to exonerate a friend, 17-year-old Ronnie Graell. Graell stands accused of bludgeoning to death an eccentric wealthy politician whose most recent crusade was against a college financial-aid program. Given that the bloodstained suspect was found next to the corpse, Fonesca has his work cut out for him. The gumshoes initial probes soon place him in the crosshairs of an unknown assailant. Kaminsky provides enough twists and turns to keep most readers guessing, but the books power comes from the compelling portrayal of Fonseca, who still suffers emotionally from his wife's death, but continues to strive to move forward. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.

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