Bart Schneider
Author Website
The Man in the Blizzard
Three Rivers Press ($14.95)
Gary Shulze, Once Upon a Crime
Writing for CrimeSpree Magazine

Augie Boyer is a private eye. He's also a poetry aficionado, amateur cellist, and a heavy-duty stoner. A doper. A pothead. A founding member of the Dope for Breakfast Club.

In Bart Schneider's one, and possibly only nod to the "conventional" P.I. genre, a beautiful blond walks into Augie's office, wanting Augie to find a stolen violin. Now this is something right up Augie's erudite and eclectic alley, but he soon finds himself involved in a complex case involving neo-Nazi violin collectors, anti-abortionists, a shrink practicing mind control, and, of course, a murder plot.

Nothing that a little more pot won't help him to sort out.

Augie does have his issues; his therapist wife left him for another therapist, he's grossly overweight, his girlfriend loves him to death but he's too insecure to believe it, and his testosterone level is way too low and falling.

Set just prior to the Republican National convention in the Twin Cities, and impeccably researched, this novel is packed with loads of fascinating information about rare violins, poetry, the Nazi's looting and cataloging of priceless treasures during WWII., and, of course, pot. Given all this information, and the complexity of the plot and its characters, "The Man in the Blizzard" is a surprisingly slim volume at just a hair over 300 pages. But, of course, being a poetry buff, Mr. Schneider writes with a masterful economy of words. His is a fresh and welcome approach to the genre.

After solving the case and saving lives, Augie tells his friends: "I have a poem for you both, which pretty much describes my life as a pothead and a detective. After I recite it, I'm going to need to be alone to contemplate it. "The Man in the Blizzard" by Thomas McGrath.

Even his tracks are gone!
And, of course, his shadow…
But he keeps walking around,
Certain that someone
(Himself perhaps)
Was here before-
Or will be."

Give this book a try, and after you're done, fire up a doobie (just kidding), get yourself alone, and contemplate it.


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This page last updated June 13, 2008