Mort Angel

Created by Rob Leininger

“In my personal opinion, and in the court of public opinion, IRS agents rank somewhere below that of politicians or prostitutes.”
— Mort mulls over his previous occupation in Gumshoe

Reno, Nevada’s MORTIMER “MORT” ANGEL turned his back on sixteen years of soul-sucking drudgery as an IRS “field thug” for sixteen years, and is now trying to make a go of it as a private eye (in-training) at his nephew, Gregory Rudd’s detective agency, in the Shamus-nominated Gumshoe (2015). Divorced, with a grown-up daughter, going nowhere professionally and spending way too much time hanging out at the Green Goose Bar tucked away in a dark corner of the Golden Goose Casino, sipping beer, he figures a career change can’t hurt.

But it doesn’t take long for Mort to realize this new gig is a whole other thing, what with naked blondes showing up unexpectedly, complete strangers trying to kill him and the head of Reno’s mayor being discovered in the trunk of his ex-wife’s car.

Did I mention they’re apparently going for a cheesy, pulpy vibe here?

Still, there’s a little more sense of fun going on here than your usual pulp retread. By the sequel, Gumshoe for Two (2017), Mort’s aquired a new boss, Jeri DeFrazzia, and the sparks — romantic and otherwise — are flying with increasing regularity. She’s not only his boss — she’s his business partner, friend, lover and fiancée, and the tit-for-tat between these two will bring a tear of joy to anyone who remembers William Powell and Myrna Loy cutting it up in the Thin Man movies.

And who could say no to an apparently recurring hooker character called — I shit you not — Holiday Breeze?

And then the series pivots again. Jeri’s out (way out) and Mort marries Lucy, an oddball eccentric worth about fourteen million, and goes to work for “Ma” Clary, an eccentric “old bag” who’s about as soft as a bag full of rocks.

The author, a USA Today bestseller,  grew up in California and served in the U.S. Navy during Vietnam, as well as at McMurdo Station in Antarctica. He received a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Nevada, Reno, and worked on Trident missiles for Hercules, and “black” defense projects for Northrop Corp. Before deciding to write full-time, Leininger taught high school math in Reno, Nevada. He now lives in Montana.

UNDER OATH

  • “Mortimer Angel is my new favorite private eye.”
    ― John Lescroart
  • “So delightful are [Mort and Lucy’s] scenes together that we’re sorry the two have to get to work. A high-speed, easy-reading narrative.”
    Booklist

NOVELS

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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