Review: Blunt Darts by Jeremiah Healy

John Cuddy is a Boston-based private investigator who used to work as an investigator for an insurance company before he was fired when he refused to sign off for a jewel-theft claim that had not been investigated. This show of morality sums up the man who is also still grieving for the death of his wife.

Book Details

Title: Blunt Darts
Author: Jeremiah Healy
Pages: 192
Published Date: 1984
Publisher: Walker
Series Details: 1st book in the John Francis Cuddy series

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Publisher's Synopsis

Cuddy looks for a brilliant missing boy whose family doesn't want him found

John Cuddy's heart is buried in a cemetery overlooking Boston harbor. His wife, Beth, fought her cancer for nearly a year, and when she died Cuddy gave up his morning runs in favor of nightly benders. Two months after her death, he is forced out of his job as an insurance investigator for refusing to sign his name to a phony claim. Now he is filing for unemployment, cutting back on his drinking, and attempting to become a private eye.

His first real case comes in the form of Valerie Jacobs, a junior high teacher who was friends with Beth. Her star pupil, the son of a Massachusetts judge, has vanished, and the local police have no leads. To make his name as a detective, Cuddy searches for a boy who's too smart to be found, and whose father would prefer his son never return.  Shamus Award Nominee for Best First Private Eye Novel of the Year

From the Dustjacket

Cuddy’s just lost his wife. His job. And his sobriety.

Now John Francis Cuddy, private detective, is in business for himself.

His latest assignment – find the missing son of a well-connected Boston judge. Even though the father shows a suspicious indifference to the boy’s disappearance. And the magistrate’s own man tries to run Cuddy off the road.

Cuddy prowls the mean streets of Boston to crack the case – and straighten out his own life…

If his newest enemies will let him keep it.

Other Reviews

Kevin's Corner

Blunt Darts is the first novel in the John Francis Cuddy mystery series and the second one I’ve read, the other being Swan Dive. Like the latter, Blunt Darts is a stellar example of economical prose that conveys a powerful, fast-moving narrative and character-delineating dialogue. I look forward to reading still more in this exceptional series and would not dissuade other hardboiled mystery fans—at least, those who aren’t squeamish about occasional moments of street language—to do the same... - Read Full Review

Paperback Swap

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... - Read Full Review

GoodReads Reviews

"Published in 1984, this is the first book in Jeremiah Healy's series featuring Boston P.I. John Francis Cuddy. Cuddy, a Vietnam vet who has recently been widowed, has also just hung out his shingle as a P.I. after being forced to leave his job as an investigator for an insurance company. He's been drinking too hard and is already a bit world-weary for a guy in his mid-thirties. But he's getting his act together again..."

At the time of writing there are 18 reviews posted to the GoodReads website as well as 151 ratings for an average of 3.7/5 stars. You can read these reviews by visiting the GoodReads website

Amazon Reviews

At the time of writing there are 17 reviews posted to the Amazon website for an average of 3.9/5 stars. You can read these reviews by visiting the Amazon Website

Author Interviews

An in depth interview with the author by J. Kingston Pierce can be seen at January Magazine

Browse through the entire Jeremiah Healy book list

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