A Perfect Manhattan Murder – a Nic and Nigel mystery by Tracy Kiely

In a sleuthing style reminiscent of William Powell, Myrna Loy (and Asta) of the popular Thin Man series, Tracy Kiely puts her own twist and updated style in her Nic and Nigel mysteries.

Nigel Martini is cool and suave and certainly loves his martinis, as well he should with a name like that! His lovely wife, Nic, is retired from the police force — but once a cop, always a cop. Throw in Skippy, their 120 pound Bullmastiff, and you have a fun-loving trio of characters that make this series so smooth even Sinatra would have to croon about it. Skippy adds even more fun to this series – he’s so huge and bizarre looking that he evokes chaos and questions everywhere he goes! Seems like someone is always asking them: “Is that really a dog?” “Are you sure it’s a dog?” “What is that?”

Nic and Nigel are in town to join Nic’s old schoolmate, Harper, and her husband, Dan, for dinner.  After dinner they moved on to a new Broadway play, Dealer’s Choice, written by one of their other schoolmates, Peggy McGrath.

Afterwards, it’s the A-list party to celebrate the debut and hopeful success of Dealer’s Choice. Alas it would have been a star-studded, fun filled evening of hobnobbing and merriment, had it not been for the fact that Nic’s friend, Harper was married to Dan.

Dan is a high-end theater critic who just couldn’t resist putting the kibosh on the opening of this Broadway play. His scathing review was a crushing blow to Peggy and embarrassing and devastating to his wife, Harper. He’s also one of the lowest, most arrogant and despicable characters I’ve come across in a long time. In fact, page after page, I kept hoping he’d be the murder victim in this cozy mystery. He’ll leave a bad taste in your mouth and your heart will go out to his lovely and charming wife, Harper, and their little boy.

Suffice it to say, someone tied to the play does get rubbed out. Since their best pal Harper is their number one suspect, Nic, Nigel and Skippy go full force weeding through the long list of suspects. With Skippy in tow, this guarantees a fun-filled romp through the theater world and, of course, a delightful murder.

With Nigel’s pitcher of martinis and cocktails 24/7, I could imagine Dean Martin dropping in for happy hour! So bring on the dry martini with a twist, the shrimp cocktail, clams casino, oysters Rockefeller, and don’t forget a Tracy Kiely mystery!

Easy Clams Casino:

6 oz. of chopped canned clams (drain and save the juice)
1 tablespoon chopped onion
½ cup bread crumbs
¼ cup of butter or margarine
Sautee onions in butter until soft. Add clams and bread crumbs. Mix onions, clams,  and bread crumbs with enough clam juice to moisten. Spoon into seafood shells. Broil until bread crumbs are lightly browned.

Variations: add 1 chopped hardboiled egg or a tablespoon of cooked bacon bits to mixture.