Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Fourteen Dilemma: Review

Pierre Chambrun is the master of all he surveys at New York's legendary Hotel Beaumont. Nothing is allowed to interfere with the comfort of his guests and the smooth-running efficiency of his hotel staff. Nothing that is until the Watson family shows up for an all-expenses paid week of luxury courtesy of the Carlton's Creek lottery. It all starts as a dream for George, Helen, and twelve-year-old Marilyn--a sumptuous suite on the exclusive fourteenth floor, rubbing elbows with sheikhs and French movie stars and Greek millionaires along with brainy chess champions and the rich and idle; a new wardrobe; and a night at the theater. 

But then Marilyn, a lovely young girl who can neither hear nor speak, sees the wrong thing at the wrong time and winds up brutally murdered. More deaths follow and it's all Chambrun can do to keep his fourteenth floor from becoming the most luxurious morgue ever. Before it's over he will take on a hard hat protest group, a former Nazi collaborator, a killer-for-hire, the U.S. State Department, and anyone else who gets in the way of his search for justice for a young girl who just wanted the joy of experiencing new things. 

Chambrun's staff are more like family than employees and when the killer makes things personal and threatens Chambrun's secretary as well as another staff member, the gloves come off and the hotel manager pulls out all the stops to save his people and see that the villain is made to answer for his crimes. His experience in the French Resistance during World War II comes in mighty handy.

This is the twelfth installment in Pentecost's series starring Pierre Chambrun. It's exciting and fast-paced, but a fair amount of belief suspension is in order. A hotel manager who can hold off known international killers and government heavies? Not a fairly clued mystery, but it is interesting to see how Chambrun handles the situation and manages to discover the culprit. ★★ for a solid, fast-paced mystery.

The Fourteen Dilemma (1976) by Hugh Pentecost is my second entry for Rich's Crimes of the Century feature for September. This month is focused on crime fiction from 1976. Got mysteries from 1976 that you can read and review? Come join us!

It also fulfills the "Number in the Title" square on the Silver Vintage Bingo card. 


Anonymous said...

Been decades since I read Pentocost (who was always fairly popualr in Italy as I recall when I was growing up) - thanks Bev.

fredamans said...

Great review! I'd have to go back quite a ways. I am anal about starting at book 1.