Beach book of the week
London calling, and quick-witted New York P.I. Stone Barrington is accepting the charges in his eighth book. The case: Help a wealthy, mysterious client protect his niece from the criminal dealings of her new beau—without getting tripped up by a slithering nest of spies, counterspies and illegal-weapons merchants.
Woods's effortless, crisp writing and nimbly staged action make this a breezy read. The style, heavy on dialogue, leaves out unnecessary descriptions yet nevertheless brings the reader into an upper-crust British world in which gentlemen dress for dinner and dapper secret agents wittily spar over single malts. Woods does stretch believability a bit in the bedroom, but if James Bond could do it, why not a handsome cop turned lawyer turned P.I.? (Putnam, $24.95)
Bottom Line: Brit hit