Sunday, August 23, 2015

William L. DeAndrea, The Fatal Elixir

William L. DeAndrea, The Fatal Elixir
Walker (1997)
Out-of-print, but available from used booksellers.

The second and last Louis "Lobo" Blacke book.  Quinn Booker, Blacke's one-time biographer and now his assistant in the newspaper business (and I the business of finishing some hang-overs from Blacke's days as a lawman), and Blacke have to deal with the fatal consequences of the arrival of Dr. Theophrastus Herkimer in town.  In addition, one of the last men Blacke put in jail (and whom Booker modeled a character on in one of his westerns) has broken out of jail and is headed for the town.  DeAndrea structures the story well, and the characters are all very well drawn (and mostly likeable).  I thought the first of these two books was excellent, and this one is considerably better.  DeAndrea died (at the age of 44) shortly before this one was published, and we will never know how the series would have developed.  He wrote several other books, of which the 8 Matt Cobb books, set in NYC in the television business are probably the best known (and themselves worth the time to read).  (Black and Booker were inspired by Rex Stout's characters, Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin.)

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