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Authors: Michael Z. Lewin

Ask the Right Question

BOOK: Ask the Right Question
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“Lewin is precisely what the mystery writer ought to be—alert to the real world, imaginative, observant and witty.” —Nick Kimberley,
City Limits

“Michael Lewin has just about the best private detective who has been around in many a day.… Lewin has brains and style.” —
Los Angeles Times

“Lewin is a witty and concerned writer, singing his song of social significant low-key.” —John Coleman,
The Sunday Times

“As witty as Robert Parker, as ingratiating as Sue Grafton and as crafty a plotter as either.” —
The Washington Post

“Ross Macdonald followers who want to switch loyalties will find Lewin devises more intricate plots and peoples them with more interesting characters.” —
The Washington Post Book World

Ask the Right Question

“It is always pleasant to come across a promising talent, and Michael Z. Lewin is one. His first book,
Ask the Right Question
, is a smoothly written private-eye story.… Characters are finely drawn, plotting is logical, details are well worked out. You can be sure that we'll be seeing more of Mr. Samson.” —
The New York Times

Called by a Panther

“Imagine a private eye caper scripted by Tom Stoppard, with cameo appearances by the Marx Brothers. As the late Ross Macdonald once said, ‘Lewin is fast, funny, and brilliant.'” —Tom Nolan,
The Wall Street Journal

“The entertainment level is a perfect ten.” —
Mystery Scene

“Irreverent … Amusing … Ironic.” —
The New York Times

“Laconic but wildly funny Lewin [writes] up a storm.” —

The Enemies Within

“A neat puzzle deftly worked out.” —
Publishers Weekly

“Mr. Lewin writes with style and sensibility and wit.… He has a fine poetic sense of detail which lights up every page.” —Ross Macdonald

“Samson is a very human hero whose distaste for blood, as well as his sharp intelligence, make him easy to like.… A superior species.” —
The Plain Dealer

“Watergate wasn't much better than
The Enemies Within
.” —
National Review

“Michael Z. Lewin writes a realistic mystery.” —
The Washington Post

The Silent Salesman

“Packed with suspense, literate and funny. A swell book to sink back into the pillows with.” —
The Boston Globe

“Tough and clever.” —
The New Republic

“Samson has to deal with medical doctors, a secret laboratory, the FBI, the cops, heroin, radioactivity, fatherhood, and other crimes. He does so with a little bit of heroism and a great deal of common sense and wit.” —
The New York Times

Out of Season

“[Readers are] going to enjoy Lewin's way of giving even the most minor of characters vivid and unstereotyped personalities.” —Tony Hillerman for the
Washington Post

The Way We Die Now

“Excellent.” —
The New Republic

“Lewin is a skillful writer.… He creates a feeling of loneliness and even desolation.” —
The New York Times Book Review

Missing Woman

“Lewin's best book … the dialogue is authentic, the settings attractive, and the mystery real.” —Robin Winks,
The New Republic

“A pip of a mystery.” —United Press International

“Lewin writes with style and sensitivity. His lean and sinewy prose propels the reader all too swiftly through a highly satisfying book.” —
The Houston Post

“The prose is full of pleasant surprises and felicitous phrases, the characterization is choice.” —
Chicago Tribune

Eye Opener

“Savor this one. It's an emotional roller coaster—bemused chuckles follow closely on the heels of horrified gasps—but it's not to be missed.” —

Night Cover

“In the several days during which Mr. Lewin allows us to share his long waking hours, Leroy Powder becomes exhilaratingly alive.” —
The New Yorker

“Powder is an irritable, tough, honest cop, a real man. Lewin knows his routine, has a good ear for dialogue, and writes good, clear prose.” —
The New York Times Book Review

Hard Line

“Unique and well told; Powder and his relationships with his son and with Fleetwood are well characterized. Good reading: Powder's one of a kind.” —
Library Journal

“Lieutenant Leroy Powder is cranky, opinionated, abrasive and demanding. He is also very good at his job, which is head of the Indianapolis Police Department's Missing Person's Bureau.… Like all of Lewin's work,
Hard Line
is an ingenious and ingratiating story.” —
The San Diego Union-Tribune

“[This] latest Powder story is another first-rate, fast-moving police procedural.… Michael Z. Lewin has done another very satisfying job.” —
Publishers Weekly

“Lt. Leroy Powder of the Indianapolis P.D. revs up again in this meticulously crafted police procedural. Several interesting cases tangle up in the Missing Person's Bureau, which Powder runs by working his jaw.” —
The Philadelphia Inquirer

“This is a crackling good procedural with all the plots wired into each other and giving off electric jolts and ringing bells. But it has real staying power as a character study of the hard-liner, a man who suffers fools badly and makes enemies, does not distinguish between work and play (‘The only way I know how to live … is to combine the two'), but unlike most workaholics is less interested in keeping the job going than getting the job done.” —
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Late Payments

“With a complexity worthy of Ross Macdonald and the same concern for family and secret relationships, Lewin (
The Way We Die Now
) has crafted a first-rate book combining grit, humor and tough-minded caring. One hopes for more mysteries featuring sarcastic, abrasive, all too human and ultimately endearing Leroy Powder.” —
Publishers Weekly

And Baby Will Fall

“Adele Buffington stands tall in the crowd of female sleuths.” —
The New York Times

“Adele Buffington is a complex, engaging woman, tough, bright and yet vulnerable.” —
The Washington Post

Family Business

“I can think of no other series, anywhere, which features a family which owns and works from a private investigation firm.” —
Deadly Pleasures

“How these [plot elements] are connected and what the brilliantly characterised Lunghis, from the Old Man down to the school kids, separately get up to is very much the extremely funny Lewin's business. Totally beguiling, with the lightest of dry touches.” —
The Times


“An ironic commentator on the current state of Midwestern bizarre.” —
The New York Times Book Review

“A hilarious tale … A story that will keep readers in stitches.” —
Publishers Weekly

“Literate and funny.” —
The Boston Globe

“Bright, witty writing … Moro is a charming and poignant narrator.… Lewin is a clever stylist.” —
The Plain Dealer

“Entertainment and humor, a sympathetic and touching hero, and fine supporting characters.” —
South Bend Tribune

“Michael Z. Lewin's offbeat thriller is amiable and amusing.” —
The San Diego Union-Tribune

“The surprisingly noble Moro … can be counted on to see everything with an astute eye.” —
San Jose Mercury News

“It's a pleasure, with Moro figuring things out slowly enough to keep us baffled yet quickly enough to keep us hooked.” —
The Charlotte Observer

“A very good book.” —
New Mystery Reader

Ask the Right Question

An Albert Samson Mystery

Michael Z. Lewin

To Maz

Newton (nee Piglet)


Alan Lebowitz

Author's Note

Several people in Indianapolis responded graciously to my inquiries about the law, truth and custom of activities described fictitiously in this book. Discrepancies between the final product and reality are solely of my making and in no way reflect on the accuracy of what they told me or my appreciation of their efforts



I had a big decision after lunch. Whether to read in the office or to stay in my living room and read.

It was one of those decisions that tell you about yourself, how much self-indulgence you allow. The room I live in is nicer than the office. The chair is softer, it's a shorter walk for a glass of orange juice. On the other hand two o'clock is still business hours whether there is business or not. And should a client accidentally stumble through my door, it wouldn't do to be dozing by the window in the back.

I made a virtuous choice. I took the pillow off my bed and carried it through to the squat rectangular light-green room I call my office. I put the pillow on the seat of my swivel chair and then I put me on the pillow. “Now I lay me down to sleep …”

And I commenced, for the eighth consecutive day, an afternoon read. Fourteen days into it, the October of 1970 was looking like the slowest month in my detecting history.

By half past four I was awake again and debating whether to move back to the living room. It was a day filled with such problems. Office hours were till five, but the afternoon movies start at four thirty.

BOOK: Ask the Right Question
5.14Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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