Kinsey Millhone #10
St. Martin's Press
On Sale: December 2, 2008
Featuring: Kinsey Millhone; Wendell Jaffe
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Thriller | Mystery
"J" is for Jaffe: Wendell Jaffe, dead these past five years.
Or so it seemed until his former insurance agent spotted him
in the bar of a dusty little resort halfway between Cabo San
Lucas and La Paz.
"In truth, the facts about
Wendell Jaffe had nothing to do with my family history, but
murder is seldom tidy and no one ever said revelations
operate in a straight line. It was my investigation into the
dead man's past that triggered the inquiry into my own, and
in the end the two stories became difficult to
Five years ago, when Jaffe's
thirty-five-foot Fuji ketch was found drifting off the Baja
coast, it seemed a sure thing he'd gone overboard. The note
he left behind admitted he was flat broke, his business
bankrupt, his real estate gambit nothing but a huge Ponzi
scheme about to collapse, with criminal indictment certain
to follow. When the authorities soon after descended on his
banks and his books, there was nothing left: Jaffe had
stripped the lot.
"Given my insatiable curiosity
and my natural inclination to poke my nose in where it
doesn't belong, it was odd to realize how little attention
I'd paid to my own past. I'd simply accepted what I was
told, constructing my personal mythology on the flimsiest of
But Jaffe wasn't quite without assets.
There was the $500,000 life insurance policy made out to his
wife and underwritten by California Fidelity. With no corpse
to prove death, however, the insurance company was in no
hurry to pay the claim. Dana Jaffe had to wait out the
statutory five years until her missing husband could be
declared legally dead. Just two months before Wendell Jaffe
was sighted in that dusty resort bar, California Fidelity
finally paid in full. Now they wanted the truth. And they
were willing to hire Kinsey Millhone to dig it up.
Kinsey pushes deeper into the mystery surrounding Wendell
Jaffe's pseudocide, she explores her own past, discovering
that in family matters as in crime, sometimes it's better to
"J" is for judgment: the kind we're
quick to make and often quicker to regret.
for Judgment: Kinsey Millhone's tenth excursion into the
dark places of the heart where duplicity is the governing
rule and murder the too-frequent result.
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