“Every man for himself and the Devil take the hindmost.”
— 16th c. English aphorism
Devil Take the Hindmost is full of skullduggery, double deals, and danger. Crescent City is both haunted and haunting, and feels frighteningly real. S.G. Wong, along with Lola Starke and Aubrey, her Ghost Friday, deliver a deft mystery with a fantastic twist. Hard-boiled, hard-edged, and hard to put down.”Chadwick Ginther, award-winning author of the Thunder Road trilogy
A welcome reinvention of the PI genre, set in a fascinating alternate history and peopled with equally fascinating characters. Wong has fashioned a memorable story, told with a poet’s eye for detail. A terrific read.Sam Wiebe, award-winning author of The Last of the Innocents and Invisible Dead
A simple job. A den of thieves. A woman committed to the truth.
It’s a straightforward case: find a missing husband who spends his work days examining old stamps. Still reeling from recent tragedy, however, Lola Starke is tempted to pass altogether, more so since her Ghost Aubrey insists it’s the perfect case to ease back into things. But the wife is adamant that something bad has happened. What’s a shamus to do—especially when the missing man works just down the hall?
But straight ain’t in the cards, not in the middle of a high-stakes business deal involving the City’s most powerful film studio, a wily gangster, a shady fence for stolen goods, a rival PI…and a rare stamp. When her client is kidnapped, Lola discovers just how far down the twisting path she’s willing to go to save the woman and her missing husband.
This is the ’30s and this is Crescent City, where gangsters and thieves are thick on the ground and the film studios are the biggest game in town. Where smiles hide secrets and intentions mean nothing. Where the only question is, what will it take to be last woman standing?
(above) Yin Yu Tang is an exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum: a Qing dynasty-era house deconstructed, relocated from its original location in southeastern China, and reconstructed. Elements of Yin Yu Tang were the basis for two of the houses mentioned in Devil Take the Hindmost.