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Fiction Hard-boiled

Keeper of the Flame

A Crang Mystery

by (author) Jack Batten

Dundurn Press
Initial publish date
Apr 2016
Hard-Boiled, Private Investigators, Traditional British
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2016
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2016
    List Price

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When his popular hip-hop artist client is blackmailed, Crang stumbles on a porn operation and an unexpected case of murder.

Crang is a smart-talking criminal lawyer who doesn’t mind chasing down unorthodox cases. That makes him just the guy to represent a famous hip-hop performer who’s on the wrong end of a blackmail scheme. It doesn’t strike Crang as a confounding case, but in no time, he finds himself confronting an organized gang that deals in porn, stock swindles, and murder. Things get so messy that Crang decides he’ll have to bend the law to make things right. It’s a dilemma that would cause other lawyers to back away, but not Crang, the nervy attorney with the fast mouth.

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.

Jack Batten's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Our smart-mouthed lawyer moves through Toronto with style and grace, with amusing stumbles and detours along the way.

Toronto Star

Batten’s sardonic humor adds fun to this fast-paced whodunit that will keep readers guessing until the final showdown.

Publishers Weekly

Flame’s blackmail case has lots of entertaining, smart twists as it gnarls its way to resolution. It’s Batten’s career-long confidence and ease with words and their pleasures, though, that make Keeper of the Flame such a trustworthy read, from first page to last.

The London Free Press

Crang is a crime-solving lawyer with a large ego, mouth, and a propensity for unorthodox cases.

The Sun Times

Keeper of the Flame alternates between dark comedy and fast-paced drama, and is an entertaining tale that will send readers in search of previous books in the series.

Deadly Diversions

Vodka-sipping, jazz-loving Crang is a clever fellow who adds welcome humor to this sixth noir-light case.

Kirkus Reviews

Legal-thriller fans who haven’t discovered the Crang series are in for a treat.


This is a fun read.

Literary Treats

Other titles by Jack Batten