PaperBackSwap Blog

Mystery Monday – Blunt Darts

Blunt Darts by Jeremiah Healy

Review by Matt B. (BuffaloSavage)


Widows we accept as part of the natural order of things. We’ve even seen widows who flower after their hubby settles into that big barcalounger in the sky. But widowers, we fear they’ll fade by turning to the bottle and nineteen-year-olds with ex-con boyfriends.  And unfortunate things do indeed happen to John Francis Cuddy, a Boston PI, after he loses his wife Beth to cancer.

Cuddy quit jogging and took to bending his elbow on nightly drunks. He also loses his job as an insurance investigator because he rejects signing off on a fake claim.  He goes on relief, tries to manage his drinking, and sets up as a PI. His first case is through the recommendation of Valerie, an old friend of Beth’s, who casts a romantic eye Cuddy’s way.

Cuddy often goes Beth’s grave and talks to her about what’s going on in his life and his cases. The graveyard chats weird-out the teenaged groundskeepers, which makes Cuddy observe, “Too young to know anything.  Especially anything about cemeteries.” Too right, we middle-aged readers agree.

In this mystery, Cuddy tells Beth about his search for a missing genius kid whose father, a hanging judge, doesn’t seem to care if his son is found.  The characters are original, with the heavy being particularly repulsive. The settings and situations are realistic without provoking too much anxiety about going out at night in the big bad city.

This book was the first of a series of about 14 novels. It was selected by The New York Times as one of the seven best mysteries of 1984. Critics and fans regard the Cuddy series was one of the better ones during the Eighties and Nineties. Fans of Robert Parker and Stephen Greenleaf would probably like this book.




Tags: , ,

One Response to “Mystery Monday – Blunt Darts”

  1. (reacherfan1909) says:

    The John Cuddy books were among my favorites for the genre and the series had consistent quality book to book.

Leave a Reply