Roby, Kinley E.

Harry Brock
Now Comes Death Now Comes Death (2005)
From Booklist
*Starred Review* Everything about Roby's second Harry Brock mystery is so appealing that choosing the best element is truly daunting. One could make a convincing argument for Harry himself: a struggling private investigator, he is an imperfect yet deeply honorable man who wants a family but doesn't quite know how to keep one. Or perhaps we might opt for the book's setting: a densely thicketed, teeming-with-life tropical hammock of land off the southwest Florida coast. Or maybe we should select Harry's gentle and wise beekeeping neighbor, Tucker LaBeau, who often consults with his hound, Sanchez, and his mule, Oh-Brother. Characters and setting are superlative, to be sure, but Roby is no slouch when it comes to plotting, either, juggling an involving mystery about the murder of drifter Truly Brown with subplots concerning a farmer whose cattle have vanished and a woman who wants Harry to investigate her business associate. Meanwhile, Harry's pregnant wife, Katherine, wants him to quit the private-eye business and choose a less-dangerous job. An outstanding detective novel, even better than the series' fine debut, Death in a Hammock (2003). Jenny McLarin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Two in the Churchyard Lie Two in the Churchyard Lie (2007)
From Booklist
Florida PI Harry Brock's new case makes him deal with family issues on many levels. When rescue workers haul a Chevy Malibu out of the Luther Faubus Canal, they find a skeleton wearing a Miami Dolphins cap. The bones belong to John Bunny Roberts, the second member of his family to die in suspicious circumstances. When John's sister, Martha, defies the family by asking Harry to investigate John's death, there is trouble for everyone. A large truck runs Harry off the road, and the Roberts family harasses Martha into a nervous breakdown. In addition, Harry must help his friend Tucker, an elderly farmer, who has discovered a colony of endangered butterflies on land that developers would like to obtain. Still more personally, he must deal with the fact that his girlfriend is seeing someone else, and he is estranged from his children. Roby turns the conventions of the hard-boiled genre on their heels as Harry's tough-guy persona comes face-to-face with the mess and muddle of human relationships. A lesser-known but very satisfying series set in South Florida's hotbed of crime fiction. Bibel, Barbara
Fear Death by Water Fear Death by Water (2008)

Death's Other Kingdom (2009)

Novels

Death in a Hammock Death in a Hammock (2003)
From Booklist
Roby's charming debut mystery features private investigator and amateur painter Harry Brock, who lives on a southwest Florida island, or "hammock," as Native Americans call it. As the story opens, Brock is confronted by an angry woman who demands to know where his neighbor, Will Trachey, lives. Taking the woman, who turns out to be Will's ex-wife, Katherine, with him, Brock sets off for Trachey's cottage, where they find Trachey dead, the victim of multiple gunshot wounds. Conservationist Luis Mendoza is blamed for the shooting, and Brock agrees to investigate on his behalf. In addition to dealing drugs, Trachey knew too much about someone, and on a small island, it's hard to keep secrets. Roby has created an immensely likable hero in Brock, a retired park ranger looking for a little peace and quiet, and the novel exudes the atmosphere of the island, the flora and fauna as well as the insular nature of human relationships there. Here's hoping this is only the beginning of the Harry Brock series. Jenny McLarin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


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