The Highly Effective Detective
By Richard Yancey
(Minotaur Books, Hardcover, 9780312347529, 304pp.)
Publication Date: June 27, 2006
Other Editions of This Title: Mass Market Paperback
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From the critically acclaimed author of Confessions of a Tax Collector and The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp comes The Highly Effective Detective--a hilarious and thrilling series debut featuring a lovable but bumbling private investigator. Meet Teddy Ruzak, the oversized, over-his-head P.I. whose first case begins with the hit-and-run killing of a gaggle of goslings. After his ailing mother dies, Teddy quits his job as a night watchman to fulfill his childhood dream of being a detective. With little planning and even less foresight, he hangs up his shingle and hires his favorite waitress from the local diner to be his Girl Friday. And his first case? Bringing to justice the thoughtless driver who mows down six baby geese. Not the most exciting assignment--until Teddy's "wild-goose chase" quickly evolves into an investigation of a vicious murder.
Richard Yancey is the author of the novels A Burning in Homeland and The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp. Alfred Kropp is the debut novel in a Young Adult series; Publishers Weekly named it one of the best books of 2005. Yancey's memoir, Confessions of a Tax Collector, was published to wide critical acclaim in 2004 and was chosen as one of the ten best books of the year by The Christian Science Monitor. The Highly Effective Detective is his first novel in the Teddy Ruzak series. Richard lives in Flordia with his wife and three sons.
"A spectacular start . . . highly entertaining. Ruzak, reminiscent at first of both A Confederacy of Dunces's Ignatius J. Reilly and of Columbo, fast becomes his own uniquely realized character. The narrative takes unforeseen, utterly believable twists that wind to an extremely satisfying close. By turns touching, suspenseful and hilarious, this is sure to be one of the most well regarded-and enjoyed-mystery debuts of the year."- Publishers Weekly (starred review) "A colorful, memorable detective . . . tells a suspenseful story full of great humor and careful plotting. Highly recommended."- Library Journal (starred review) "A compelling protagonist . . . his rambling thoughts contain wonderful truths and bits of brilliant insight. Mature teen readers will enjoy this mystery, especially if they are fans of Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Most teens reading this book will probably be more rational than Teddy in many ways, despite his advanced age, which young readers will relish. The story is told with subtle humor and excellent characterizations. It is a solid mystery with the potential to appeal to older teens."- VOYA "Full of wry humor, action, and plot twists. The novel's biggest asset is quirky storyteller-sleuth Teddy Ruzak."- Hallie Ephron, Boston Globe "Quick-moving and funny . . . my 14-year-old daughter plowed through the book in one sitting."- Entertainment Weekly, "50 Hot Summer Books" pick "Move over, Sam Spade. A priceless nebbish has joined the private-eye ranks. An adorably quixotic adventure."- Kirkus Reviews "An ironic antihero . . . the story is fun and quick. Teens who enjoy Lawrence Block's 'Burglar' books will find that this one appeals as well."- School Library Journal "Funny the way Donald E. Westlake's novels are funny...Witty remarks abound, and the central character is a keeper."- Booklist