Jack & the Beanstalk by Ed McBain (1984)

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Jack & the Beanstalk
by Ed McBain

Publisher:  Holt, Rinehart and Winston
Copyright:  1984

Book Club Edition

Jack McKinney's mother thought he was a tennis bum.  His sister thought he was a cattle rustler.  And McKinney himself thought he was going to turn a bankrupt snapbean farm into a paying operation.  Never mind that in the sandy soil of Florida's West Coast, snapbeans were not a cash crop.

So on a steamy August Friday, the unemployed twenty-year-old slapped down a $4,000 deposit on the farm, refused financing on the remaining $36,000 purchase price, which he promised to hand over in cash at the closing, and instructed attorney Matthew Hope to push the deal through before the owner could change his mind.

Four days later, McKinney was dead -- stabbed fourteen times, his plush condo apartment ransacked.  And there was no trace of the $36,000.

As Matthew Hope is drawn deeper into the dead boy's affairs, he runs into a far-from-grieving mother, a sexually provoking sister and her punk boyfriend, a New Orleans whore with a steel-trap mind and a sudden windfall -- and more murder.  He also runs up against the complexities of a love affair with a beautiful and passionate woman who happens to be nearly twenty years his senior.

A taut, fast-paced tale of duplicity and greed, Jack and the Beanstalk is Ed McBain in top form.

Condition:  Used.  Hardcover.  Dust cover is lightly discolored and shows shelf wear, a bit of creasing. Pages may be tanning from age.  Previous owner's "Library Of" stamp is on the front endpaper.


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