P.G.Sturges is a fairly recent discovery for me and as yet I’ve not tried any of his three Shortcut Man books. The first was published in 2011 and was titled funny enough - Shortcut Man. It won a Shamus Award in 2012.
There’s a brief biography of him at Fantastic Fiction which advises of his parenthood and his poor piano-playing skills….. p.g.sturges was born in Hollywood, California. Early in life he was a good student and a poor pianist, culminating in an eighth grade performance of the Marines Hymn, the end of which he could not remember. However, loath to quit, he played many, many, many verses of the song until the audience, with an ovation, prevailed upon him to move on.
Punctuated by fitful interludes of school, he has subsequently occupied himself as a submarine sailor, a dimensional metrologist, a Christmas tree farmer, an optical metrologist, a musician, a songwriter, an author, a playwright, and a screenwriter.
He is the grateful son of Preston Sturges, writer/director, and Sandy Sturges, actress, author, and Doctor of Jurisprudence
Hopefully because he's hard at work on a fourth book!
Tribulations of the Shortcut Man (2012)
From a writer described as a worthy successor to Raymond Chandler (Michael Connelly), the follow-up to Shortcut Man, featuring Dick Henry in a rousing tale of sin and salvation in the City of Angels.
Dick Henry is the Shortcut Man, assisting people with their sticky situations in the belief that the shortest answer to many problems may not always be legal. In Tribulations of the Shortcut Man, he reluctantly provides assistance to an old girlfriend, pole dancer Pussy Grace.
After Pussy’s boyfriend, rich and famous developer and septuagenarian Art Lewis, has inexplicably cut off communication with her, Dick and Puss enter Lewis’s mansion disguised as gas company employees to investigate. Everything quickly goes downhill. Dick and Puss flee, leaving the very dead Art Lewis behind. Dick anticipates arrest until news breaks the next morning: Art Lewis has just gotten married and is now enjoying his honeymoon. Realizing a conspiracy is afoot, Dick must navigate his way through the underbelly of Los Angeles and a motley crew of miscreants in pursuit of justice.
Filled with enough dark humor and shady characters to satisfy the most rabid noir fan (Associated Press), p.g. sturges s Shortcut Man series is hard-boiled crime at its best.
Angel’s Gate (2013)
The latest novel in the acclaimed Shortcut Man series is a rousing tale of sex, sleaze, and salvation in the City of Angels that's "filled with enough dark humor and shady characters to satisfy the most rabid noir fan" (Associated Press).
Our hero Dick Henry - aka the Shortcut Man - becomes involved in a case featuring an aging but still amorous Los Angeles movie mogul named Howard Hogue who keeps a stable of young starlets available for his highly ritualized attentions. Retained by the sister of a young woman who has gone missing, Henry becomes friendly with Connie Cielo, the "housemother" to the starlets. Despite Connie's morally questionable responsibilities, she is willing to help (and enjoy the company of) the Shortcut Man.
After Hogue's star director assaults one of these women in a drug-fuelled romp, Henry is drawn into a deeper mystery from years past involving a mysterious death on a boat and a missing screenplay written by what appears to be a homeless man. As he peels back layer upon layer of sordid Hollywood history, Dick Henry must contend with crazed drug dealers, Hogue's personal doctor, crooked cops, private security henchmen, and Hogue himself - who is so powerful and bunkered in his movie-biz millions that he is unfazed by the resourceful Henry.
A wry and rollicking read, Vexations of the Shortcut Man proves that p.g. sturges is "one of the cleverest and funniest new writers to grace the mystery genre in quite some time" (BookPage.com).