Criminal defense investigator Cecil Younger spends his days coaching would-be felons on how to avoid incriminating themselves. He even likes most of the rough characters who seek his services. So when Sherrie, a returning client, asks him to track down some evidence to clear her of a domestic violence charge, Cecil agrees. Maybe he’ll f...
Criminal defense investigator Cecil Younger spends his days coaching would-be felons on how to avoid incriminating themselves. He even likes most of the rough characters who seek his services. So when Sherrie, a returning client, asks him to track down some evidence to clear her of a domestic violence charge, Cecil agrees. Maybe he’ll find something that will get her abusive boyfriend locked up for good.
Cecil treks out to the shady apartment complex only to discover the “evidence” is a large pile of cash—fifty thousand dollars, to be exact. That is how Cecil finds himself in violation of one of his own maxims: Nothing good comes of walking around with a lot of someone else’s money.
In this case, “nothing good” turns out to be a deep freeze full of drug-stuffed fish, a murder witnessed at close range, and a kidnapping—his teenage daughter, Blossom, is snatched as collateral for his cooperation. The reluctant, deeply unlucky investigator turns to an unlikely source for help: the misfit gang of clients he’s helped to defend over the years. Together, they devise a plan to free Blossom and restore order to Sitka. But when your only hope for justice lies in the hands of a group of criminals, things don’t always go according to plan.
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“What a wild wild ride. Straley grabs you by the throat and doesn’t let go. You think left and he goes right. You think up and he goes down. Cecil Younger is a continuously great but flawed and wobbly investigating hero.”
—Willy Vlautin, author of The Motel Life, Northline, and The Free
“John Straley doesn't write like anybody, and Baby's First Felony is a thrilling surprise from start to finish. I'll be giving Christmas copies to friends with good taste.”
—Timothy Hallinan, author of the Junior Bender mysteries
“In this seventh book in a series, Cecil Younger, an investigator with Sitka, Alaska Public Defenders Office, finds himself on the other side of the law when he tries to find and free his 13-year-old kidnapped daughter. After he enlists the help of two former clients, one of whose last name “Boomer” aptly describes his criminal specialty, the mayhem begins. This series and book are filled with warm and wacky characters. The title is reference to a basic primer the Public Defender is writing on what to do or not do if you are arrested, such as “When talking on the jail phone, Pig Latin is not an unbreakable code.” I anxiously await the next book in this series to find out if and how Cecil gets beyond his legal problems and to meet up again with some sweet and funny characters.”
Lynn Carney, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI
“John Straley is an Alaskan treasure. Baby’s First Felony is a page-turning, darkly hilarious murder mystery turned upside down. With the help of a crazy cast of characters, investigator Cecil Younger is taking on the criminal underbelly of an Alaska seaside town, even as he faces the equally terrifying trials of parenting a teenager. As always, Straley has brought his unflinching eye, compassionate heart and lyrical voice to the story. Northern noir at its best.”