Tom Schreck – On the Ropes: A Duffy Dombrowski Mystery

51. On the Ropes: A Duffy Dombrowski Mystery by Tom Schreck (2007)
The Duffy Dombrowski Mysteries Series Book 1
Length: 326 pages
Genre: Contemporary Mystery
Started: 30 July 2015
Finished: 8 August 2015
Where did it come from? My friend Pamela gave it to me as a gift.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 18 July 2015
Why do I have it? I like contemporary mysteries and Tom Schreck is a new author for me.

Duffy Dombrowski – a tough-talking, no-nonsense social worker from a small town in upstate New York – may not suffer fools kindly, but he also isn’t your typical sort of caseworker. When he isn’t counseling chronic sex addicts and frequent drug users, people can usually find him crooning Elvis tunes, getting ‘bombed’ with his friends, or challenging ex-Olympians in the boxing ring. Actually, for a man who absolutely dreads doing any type of paperwork, Duffy lives for his extracurricular activities – particularly his time spent in the ring as a part-time professional boxer. As a matter of fact, those extracurricular activities tend to get in the way of his career more often than not.

When a schizophrenic, crack-addicted prostitute named Walanda comes to Duffy and asks him for help, he can hardly deny her. He solemnly pledges to take care of her basset hound, Allah-King, and to find her missing stepdaughter, Shondeneisha. While Duffy isn’t quite sure how much of Walanda’s fantastic story to actually believe: that she believes her stepdaughter Shony has been kidnapped, and that someone actually wants Walanda herself dead; he can certainly recognize a troubled mind when he sees one, so is determined to help ease her worries if he possibly can.

However, when Walanda’s prediction tragically comes true and she is murdered, Duffy begins to believe that she may have been telling the truth about other things as well. In order to assuage his own guilt about doubting Walanda’s story, Duffy promises himself that he will find Shondeneisha as soon as possible. But how can a not-so-social social worker who moonlights as an underdog boxer possibly hope to save the girl and solve a murder with only the help of a semi-housebroken, fully disobedient basset hound and four drunk friends at his disposal?

I have to say right from the beginning that I probably wouldn’t have chosen to read this book for myself, considering that I’ve never been all that interested in learning the particulars of the sport of boxing. Yet, I will also say that this book was still surprisingly good, in my opinion. There was a thread of sarcastic humor running throughout the story which I enjoyed, and the mystery was very intricate and intriguing to me. While this is perhaps not the typical kind of mystery that I usually read, it was still a very interesting mystery to read for its genre; I would give this book a definite B+!

B+! – (89-94%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

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