Poisoned Pen Press, Hardcover, 9781590580912, 340pp.
Publication Date: February 1, 2004
Fast forward to present-day Pottsville, Pennsylvania. Young Doug Pearce, just fired from his steady job in the brewery, has never strayed far from home. But he's always found stories of his Uncle Russ, the family black sheep, fascinating. In comes a letter from an old friend of his dead uncle inviting him up to Toronto. Doug, at loose ends and bored with killing time, accepts. On arrival, he learns that wealthy and glamorous Edna has an agenda: she has assembled enough clues to solve the murder of Russell Pearce and to recover a legendary red diamond he was thought to be smuggling.
Doug, nervous but game, agrees to play detective. How bad can it be to jet off to a glamour spot or two and have an adventure? Whoa By the end of his first day in Casablanca, Doug knows he's made a mistake. And while he meets people eager to help-a retired museum curator, a beautiful and self-absorbed heiress, and her elderly father, a colleague of Russell Pearce-it becomes clear that someone else is interested in Doug, someone who is also looking for the diamond.
From Morocco to Egypt to Bahrain to Singapore, Doug stumbles on. And whether he's escaping across Cairo rooftops, ducking bullets in a high-speed desert chase, or killing time in a crowded Egyptian jail cell, Doug is sure of one thing: He has no clue what he's doing. But surely he'll think of something as he's propelled full circle back to Singapore and the famed Raffles Hotel. He's definitely not 007...but will he prove to be a zero?