Notes on MADMAN ON A DRUM
St. Martin's Minotaur $21.21 at OUAC
Gary Shulze, Once Upon a Crime
Writing for CrimeSpree
I need to preface this review to talk about something
that's really criminal. David Housewright's "Rushmore McKenzie"
private eye series is by far one of the best ongoing mystery series
out there, but it's going out of print. Leisure had picked up
the first 3 in the series, but has no plans for further reprints.
The same fate has befallen another favorite of ours: KJ Erickson.
One notable exception, Reed Farrel Coleman, who just recently
escaped oblivion thanks to Busted Flush Press.
I know you can all name some favorites of your own.
It's a frustrating situation for the dealer, the author, and especially
for the fans who happen upon a series in mid-stream and can't
go back to its origins. I feel like telling you all to throw open
your windows and holler "I'm mad as hell and won't etc. etc."
but the end results would only be a bunch of sour throats and
But now to Housewright's new novel, Madman On
A Drum, #5 in the "McKenzie" series. This guy keeps
getting better, and he started out of the chute by winning the
Edgar® award for 1st novel, along with a Shamus nomination,
for Penance. Need I mention that it's out of print? Madman
On A Drum is his best yet. Rushmore is still a bit of a babe
hound, but he's reined it in some, mostly because he's caught
up in a dire situation that demands all of his attention.
His best friend's daughter, who is also Rushmore's
god-daughter and an heir to his sizeable estate, has been kidnapped.
The girl's mother is warned by the kidnapper "no police".
The mother immediately calls the police - no hesitation here -
her husband's a cop. There's a million dollar ransom, which somehow
the kidnappers know is readily and willingly available from McKenzie.
Listening to a tape tapped by the Feds, even though electronically
altered, Rush can't shake the "I know this guy" feeling,
and starts digging through his fairly long list of guys out there
with a grudge this large.
Eventually, Rushmore figures out who did it, the
ransom is paid, and the girl is returned safely. The kidnappers
suffer a bad fate, and I notice that I'm only about 2/3 done with
the book. My first thought is "Oh Boy, there's more!"
And is there ever.
Buy this book. Read this book. Buy lots of copies
for your friends. Throw open your windows and holler "Buy
and while you're at it, check out KJ
Erickson too!" It's a stretch, but if enough of you do it,
just maybe the right people will hear you.
Pretty Girl Gone
A Hard Ticket Home
Practice To Deceive
Collections Containing Housewright's Stories
Resort to Murder
Twin Cities Noir
The Silence of the Loons