William Babula. St. John’s Baptism (1988) 258 pp.
San Francisco private eye Jeremiah St. John goes to the office of sleazy drug attorney Rick Silverman for a “delivery” job. When he gets there he finds Silverman murdered, an empty safe, and a garbage bag full of cash hidden under the desk. Silverman’s partner, Sam Fan, hires St. John and his two partners in the St. John Detective Agency—a Seminole Indian named Chief Moses and a beautiful ex-policewoman (she was booted off the force after posing for a “Women in Blue” spread in Playboy) from Ohio named Mickey—to find the killer. When the police discover the murder weapon in the apartment of one of Silverman’s Colombian clients, they proclaim the case closed. St. John doesn’t buy it, though, and continues his investigation. Along the way he finds plenty of people who aren’t too upset with Silverman’s death (his ex-wife, a deputy D.A. who used to lose cases to Silverman, a judge who watched Silverman’s clients go free on technicalities, and several former girlfriends) and uncovers a nasty blackmail scheme.
Hubin; MRJ