Books

by John J. Lamb
Berkley Prime Crime, October 2008, $

Once I willingly suspend my disbelief that a retired San Francisco cop could become a teddy bear aficionado, I really enjoyed this series. Improbable as the protagonist's hobby might seem, the Teddy Bear Collector's Mysteries uniquely meld the cozy with the police procedural, yielding a strangely intriguing amalgam.

In The Clockwork Teddy, Brad Lyon, ex-detective, returns from the Shenandoah Valley to his native city, San Francisco, to attend a teddy bear convention with his wife. Not surprisingly, Brad and his wife, Ash, quickly stumble upon a hotbed of intrigue when someone wearing a giant teddy bear costume (remember, willing suspension of disbelief) robs a renowned teddy bear vendor. To take the teddy bear motif a bit further, the robbery and later, murder, seem to be tied to the theft of an amazing robotic teddy bear that can walk and converse with eerie verisimilitude. The book's most compelling factor, though, is Brad's immediate reversion to cop mode as he brings the criminals to justice at the end of a breakneck chase. Brad's deployment of police procedures rings true, which is no surprise since Lamb, too, is a retired policeman--and a teddy bear collector.

If the hardcore elements of this mystery don't appeal, you might find satisfaction in its cozy components. One thing is certain, however, after you've read The Clockwork Teddy and the other titles in this series, you will have developed a new found respect for teddy bears and their creators.

Lynne Maxwell

Once I willingly suspend my disbelief that a retired San Francisco cop could become a teddy bear aficionado, I really enjoyed this series. Improbable as the protagonist's hobby might seem, the Teddy Bear Collector's Mysteries uniquely meld the cozy with the police procedural, yielding a strangely intriguing amalgam.

In The Clockwork Teddy, Brad Lyon, ex-detective, returns from the Shenandoah Valley to his native city, San Francisco, to attend a teddy bear convention with his wife. Not surprisingly, Brad and his wife, Ash, quickly stumble upon a hotbed of intrigue when someone wearing a giant teddy bear costume (remember, willing suspension of disbelief) robs a renowned teddy bear vendor. To take the teddy bear motif a bit further, the robbery and later, murder, seem to be tied to the theft of an amazing robotic teddy bear that can walk and converse with eerie verisimilitude. The book's most compelling factor, though, is Brad's immediate reversion to cop mode as he brings the criminals to justice at the end of a breakneck chase. Brad's deployment of police procedures rings true, which is no surprise since Lamb, too, is a retired policeman--and a teddy bear collector.

If the hardcore elements of this mystery don't appeal, you might find satisfaction in its cozy components. One thing is certain, however, after you've read The Clockwork Teddy and the other titles in this series, you will have developed a new found respect for teddy bears and their creators.

Xav ID 1
1289

by John J. Lamb
Berkley Prime Crime, October 2008, $

Lamb
October 2008
the-clockwork-teddy
Berkley Prime Crime