‘The Chinese Keyhole’ by Richard Himmel

My Review (4 stars out of 5)

Following the murder of his pal, Tom, lawyer Johnny Maguire decides to check out a Chinatown strip joint. With not much to go on, he ingratiates himself with one of the club’s ‘stars’ in the hope she might let slip information about the place being used as a front for a spy ring. She might also lead him to whoever killed Maguire’s pal.

This is the second of Richard Himmel’s Johnny Maguire books, though unlike the first one (It’s Murder, Maguire) it’s not so much a hard-boiled private eye tale but more of a spy story. The style is very much along the lines of Chandler et al, though Himmel’s wit isn’t nearly so divine and some of his politically incorrect language might offend readers of a more delicate disposition.

The story initially gripped me but the author’s penchant for leaving his characters floundering in occasionally pointless dialogue got a bit irritating.

An interesting read, but probably not an author I’d look at again.

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  2 comments for “‘The Chinese Keyhole’ by Richard Himmel

  1. 02/05/2021 at 4:49 PM

    Hmm, Colin, your last few words say it all.


    • 02/05/2021 at 7:28 PM

      Yes – it’s good to try different authors but sometimes they just don’t grab me enough to want to read any more.


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