The Bughouse Affair: A Carpenter and Quincannon Mystery (Carpente #1)
by Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini
Forge Books, 2013. 272 pgs. Mystery.
Muller and Pronzini, both well-established mystery authors in their own right, team up to bring us the Carpenter and Quincannon mysteries. John Quincannon, and ex-Secret Service operative, joins up with Sabina Carpenter, a former Pinkerton agent, to form a private investigation bureau in 1890s San Francisco. While Carpenter chases a pickpocket who uses brutal means to get the gold, Quincannon finds himself staking out the homes of wealthy businessmen in search of an elusive, and deadly, housebreaker. But Carpenter and Quincannon will soon find that their two cases may not be as separate as they believe. And is the man who is always hanging around really the notorious (and probably fictional) Sherlock Holmes?
As a first joint effort, this book was not bad. The use of 1890s slang was really forced and often made the narrative hard to follow. (I, for one, still could not tell you what exactly a "bughouse" is.) But, overall, it was an amusing book and I would be excited to see the second in the series, especially if they toned down the detective slang a lot.