Now you see it, now you don't 

Glass Chameleon: A Tribute to New Orleans
A Deets Shanahan Mystery
By Ronald Tierney
Severn House, Publishers Inc.; $28.95

Indianapolis is the initial site of the homicide. N’Awlins is the private eye destination to pinpoint a possible perpetrator. Between the two locations, “justice” surreptitiously sidles up to “law” in this turn-around of who’s in and who’s out in Indy native Ronald Tierney’s newest visit with Shanahan and his close-knit circle.

Tierney once again questions authority and honesty in the murky deaths of two recent transplants to Indianapolis. Delving into how the upper-echelons of Hoosier social strata like to think others (should) think of them reminds this reviewer of Gov. Adlai Stevenson’s pithy observation: “It’s not what you think you are, rather what you THINK, you ARE.”

The banter is surface-bright, yet there’s an underbelly of innuendo that gives what’s being said a shade of self-deception — can we see the chameleon in disguise? Tierney takes us to church and cell, court and surf-side in a tangled web of relationships. Normal hovers on the dark side of “oh m’gosh.” Even Shanahan is questioning his mind — is he lapsing into pre-dementia? Is life outrunning his desire to grasp it with the delightful Maureen?

The outsider Howie Cross at center stage experiences more than he bargained for and the outsider’s outsider Kowalski gives more than he’s expected to. The eye-popping surprise is the obnoxious police department mouthpiece Rafferty. He’s human? Read on.

We’re set up for a new home (in the wake of a new car) for Shanahan, Maureen and their not-to-be-messed-with set of four-leggeds. Maybe, just maybe, Harry will start serving craft beers in his 10th Street establishment and Shanahan’s trading up will be complete.

Pick up a copy of Glass Chameleon along with some Upland Dragonfly IPA or Barley Island Dirty Helen Brown Ale and turn a sultry summer day into a real treat as you traverse Indianapolis and New Orleans in pursuit of justice.

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Rita Kohn

Rita Kohn

Rita Kohn has been covering craft beer and the arts for NUVO for two decades. She’s the author of True Brew: A Guide to Craft Beer in Indiana.

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