Con Lehane: Author of the 42nd Street Library Mysteries

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Murder By DefinitionCrime-fiction librarian Ray Ambler gets more than he bargained for when he acquires the archives of a controversial hardboiled crime author in Murder By Definition, a contemporary twisty mystery set in New York City.

Will Ford might be critically acclaimed, but he’s every bit as drunken and disreputable as the ne’er-do-well private eye in his novels. So when Ford offers Raymond Ambler a collection of his papers, Ambler wonders if the project will be more trouble than it’s worth. Still, the disgraced author is an important talent, and Ambler’s never been afraid of a fight.

Ambler’s ready for the controversy that greets news of the acquisition. He’s not ready, however, for what he finds when he finally receives the papers: a gripping unpublished short story apparently based on a real case, with an explosive author’s note. If it’s true, there’s been a shocking coverup at the heart of the NYPD—and a cop has got away with murder.

If it’s true. Ford’s not talking, and Ambler’s good friend Mike Cosgrove, a veteran NYPD homicide detective, is beyond skeptical. But as the pair investigate, they’re drawn into the sordid underbelly of 1990s New York, packed with pimps, thugs and mobsters… and they’ll be lucky to come back out alive.

“Intriguing… Memorable prose. Those with a taste for noir lite will want to check this out.”
Publishers Weekly

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Praise for the Raymond Ambler Series:

“Lehane molds a tight plot that spins on believable twists. As usual, the 42nd Street Library, with its hidden crevices and private rooms, emerges as a fully realized character.”
—Oline Cogdill, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

“This is the perfect series for bibliophiles and those who like their murder mysteries with a hard-boiled edge.”
—Molly Odintz, CrimeReads, “The Most Anticipated Crime Books of 2019, Part III”

“An apt choice for bibliophiles and those who like a New York City setting.”

“Those who love New York City and libraries will be rewarded.”
Publishers Weekly

“Raymond Ambler is the perfect character to show off Con Lehane’s deep love and almost encyclopedic knowledge of crime fiction. The New York City librarian truly knows both his fictional and real mean streets.”
—Ace Atkins, New York Times bestselling author

“Con Lehane, like his librarian sleuth Ray Ambler, knows how to keep his readers happy.”
—Daniel Stashower, Edgar Award-winning author