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Fiction Private Investigators

Crang Plays the Ace

A Crang Mystery

by (author) Jack Batten

Dundurn Press
Initial publish date
May 2011
Private Investigators, General, Hard-Boiled
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2011
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    May 2011
    List Price

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Cause a "poker face" ain’t just a song by Lady Gaga.

Crang is a criminal lawyer. He loves jazz, old movies, Polish vodka, his Volkswagen convertible, and his girlfriend Annie, not necessarily in that order. A wise-cracking WASP with a moral code that owes little to the Law Society of Upper Canada, Crang is equally quick with his lip and fists, but he can tell a fish fork from a pair of brass knuckles when he has to.

The clients who come to Crang’s second-floor walk-up office on Toronto’s Queen Street strip – street punks, two bit robbers, and small-time scam artists – are usually guilty. Crang likes it that way. Mostly he gets them off and they’re grateful.

So when Matthew Wansborough, wealthy financier and scion of a fine old family, comes to Crang with the novel problem that his $300,000 investment in Ace Disposal Services is too profitable, Crang is puzzled.

Wansborough isn’t Crang’s usual kind of client and Ace isn’t Wansborough’s usual kind of blue-chip operation.

Crang’s unorthodox investigation of Ace reveals that it’s a dirty player in a dirty business, run by men who oil the wheels of commerce with kickbacks, fraud, muscle – and murder.

Mystery and comedy mix in this entertaining novel, written with the in-depth knowledge of the legal scene and the easygoing style that have made bestsellers of Batten’s previous books. Once readers have made the acquaintance of Crang, they will be eager to read of his future cases in what promises to be a long and successful series.

About the author

Jack Batten practised law in Toronto for four years before turning to a life of writing. He has written for all the major Canadian magazines and is the author of thirty-three books including four crime novels. Five of his nonfiction books dealt with real-life Canadian lawyers, judges, and court cases; a biography of John Robinette was among these books. Batten's books have also dealt with sports, Canadian history, and biography. He has reviewed jazz for The Globe and Mail, movies for CBC radio, and still writes a column on crime fiction for the Toronto Star. His biography of Tom Longboat won the $10,000 Norma Fleck Award for best children's nonfiction in 2002, and the book is being made into a feature film. His most recent book is The Annex: The Story of a Toronto Neighbourhood, published in 2004.

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Other titles by Jack Batten