Little Things Mean a Lot

This novel begins about five or six hours after the action of You Have the Right To Remain Silent ends.

The story: Marian Larch is thoroughly disgruntled with the NYPD and plans to resign as soon as a few loose ends are tied up. But before she can take the final step, her friend Kelly Ingram calls, yelling for help. Someone has burglarized the theater where Kelly is performing nightly in Abigail James's The Apostrophe Thief. Nothing of great value has been taken -- only scripts, a few costumes, small personal items belonging to the cast.

Marian's captain is only too glad to get Marian out of his hair by lending her to the Midtown South Precinct, which has jurisdiction over most of New York's theater district. Her investigation leads her into the world of showbiz collectibles and into contact with the odd and varied people who live there. To her surprise, Marian finds she is enjoying herself.

Adding to that enjoyment (in a perplexing sort of way) is Curt Holland, one of the FBI agents from You Have the Right To Remain Silent. Marian is drawn to this prickly, secretive man in a way she doesn't quite understand. But Holland clearly intends to make himself part of her life.

By a circuitous route, Marian is able to identify the man who burglarized the theater. But when she finds him, she finds him dead. Her friendly little case has turned into a homicide.

The writing: Sheer fun, from beginning to end...a recovery period for Marian following the stresses of Silent. Not only did this story let me revisit the theater, which I always enjoy, but it also shows Marian rediscovering her love of the hunt. This book marks the second appearance of Captain James Murtaugh (Kill Fee), who will now be a recurring character in the Marian Larch series.


1. Booklist:
"Prolific mystery author Paul offers an entertaining tale of murder in the New York theater district...In spite of her bad case of career burnout, Larch becomes engrossed in the case...and realizes there's more to the crime than simple theft. In the process of uncovering the real motive, she discovers that her love affair with police work is just beginning. A nice blend of humor, romance, and suspense plus an original plot and Larch's appealing, down-to-earth approach to life make this a pleasant read and a worthwhile purchase."

2. The Armchair Detective:
"Like any good mystery, the plot is involved and convoluted, leading to surprising and unusual people and places. There is also a good deal of fascinating information about collectors of theater memorabilia, typical of the bonuses I've come to expect in Paul's books. Marian's logic, intuition, and good standard police work solve the case in a tightly-plotted, step-by-step conclusion and bring the story to a satisfying end."

3. Richmond Times-Dispatch:
"The world of the theater, with its temperamental actors and eccentric fans, provides an appealing backdrop to the action in this police procedural with personal overtones."

4. Murder, Mystery, and Mayhem:
"I think you'll really like New York police detective Marian Larch. She's a real person, and you'll appreciate that....Enjoy!"


N.Y.: Scribner, 1993, ISBN 0-684-19553-4
N.Y.: Mystery Guild, 1993
N.Y.: WorldWide, 1994, ISBN 0-373-26155-1
London: Piatkus, 1994, ISBN 0-7499-0214-0
München: R. Piper Verlag [as Der Dieb vom Broadway], 1995, ISBN 3-492-15639-8
Anstey, Leicester: F. A. Thorpe, 1995, ISBN 0-7089-3337-8

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Page created June 26, 1995; last updated October 30, 2000.