Accountants don’t always make great private investigators. In the Alibi Aficionado, accountant Edwin Burrows find himself bumbling along in an investigation. One he does not want to be part of but ends up passionate about.
Edwin, please don’t call him Ed, Edward nor Eddie is not a lucky man. He has a dead-end job as an accountant, his wife left him for the loan manager at their bank, and his boss is not found of him. Somewhat reluctantly Edwin is assigned to help a client at his accounting firm get out of a sexual assault complaint.
The plot deals with a billionaire hedge fund owner in Chicago being accused of rape. When the rape victim goes missing foul play is assumed and the billionaire is the prime suspect. Without a solid alibi, the billionaire asks the owners of his accounting firm for ideas. It is a hopeless task so middle managers hand it down to poor unlucky Edwin.
From the start, Edwin knows he is expected to fail this task. It is almost as if his boss is setting him up to fail as a reason to fire him. Clueless about how to investigate a case like this he dives in headfirst.
Alibi Aficionado was well written and funny. Edwin is one of those unlikable guys you can’t help but to actually like. He is crass and says some of the most inappropriate stuff. Yet this uncouth behavior comes off as charming.
One of the things I enjoyed about this book was that Edwin was never at odds with the police. I get sick of amateur sleuth tales with the amateur and the police having a contentious relationship. This story barely even involved the police. Edwin was off doing his own thing in parallel to the cops.
I do have one minor complaint about guns. A charter in the story identifies a gun manufacture by a spent bullet casing. A 9mm is a 9mm casing, you can’t say it was shot from a Glock, H&K or Beretta just by looking at it. I wish authors would learn more about guns before writing about them. However, this was one paragraph so it did not detract from the overall story.
This is Harvey Church’s first novel. Hopefully, he will have more as I enjoyed Alibi Aficionado and look forward to more misadventures of Edwin the CPA turned investigator.
A free Review copy was provided via NetGalley for this unbiased review.