Ace Carroway and the Handsome Devil (The Adventures of Ace Carroway) by Guy Worthey

It’s 1921 and the world mourns the disappearance of aviatrix Cecilia “Ace” Carroway, lost during a ’round-the-world attempt. Barely, Ace survives what she knows was an assassination masterminded by underworld kingpin Darko Dor. In secret, she gathers her five wartime comrades and opens a detective agency, intending to hunt Dor and his ilk.

Before the paint dries on the door, Ratface the mugger strikes, a chemist is kidnapped and rumors surface of a shadowy hideaway called Smuggler’s Crossroads.

Furthermore, at her very first public appearance, a pair of handsome gentlemen vie for her attention in outrageous style. Is this shower of fragrant flowers and honeyed words too good to be true?

Why, yes. Yes, it is. It’s a trap, and if Ace doesn’t connect all the clues in time, the shadowy Darko Dor will win another victory.

A little about Guy first:

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Wyoming native Guy Worthey traded spurs and lassos for telescopes and computers to pursue a career in astrophysics. He studies the origin of the elements and the evolution of galaxies at Washington State University. In his spare time, he writes clean adventure fiction.

To complement his violinist wife Diane, he plays keyboards and bass guitar. He feeds a corgi named Sir Galahad. His favorite food is called creamed eggs on toast, but once in a while, he heeds the siren song of chocolate.

Terence Vickers’ Review: 4.3/4-Stars

Ace Carroway and the Handsome Devil

Ace Carroway returns. When her pale is sabotaged Ace is believed to be dead but she has survived the crash and after months of recovery, she returns to gather her companions together and start a detective agency, C. Carroway and Associates. Casting aside her anonymity to play piano at a concert, she attracts the attention of a swashbuckling nut case who smoke bombs her concert and spoils the show by escaping.

A very nicely done pulp fiction in the style of the early dime novels I thoroughly enjoyed this book although I was hoping for some high flying airplane adventures. Well presented and unique characters make this book a pleasure to read full of humour and mystery. Who is that masked man who interrupts Ace’s concert, swinging on a rope and shouting ‘FIRE’ in a full concert hall? Is he friend or foe? Who is the handsome suitor who bring her flowers? What is her evil nemesis Darko Dor up to this time? He is up to plenty of mischief but you will have to read the book to find out what.

Diane Andersen’s Review: 5-Stars

Don’t let the fact that this is the second book in the series sway any reader from delving head first into this fun and fast-paced tale of aviatrix turned detective, Ace Carroway. While Ace’s friends mourn her passing in a tragic accident, she secretly and abruptly turns up to tell them otherwise in a surprising plot twist to get things off to a rousing start. Thus begins this story that plunges the reader into a post-World War I world with a cast of charming and memorable characters bearing names like Quack and Tombstone.

Our fearless heroine returns with a plan to gather them, along with a few other close friends, into her new detective agency in order to find the perpetrators who orchestrated her near destruction. These dastardly villains she seeks are part of a crime syndicate run by kingpin, Darko Dor who has devious henchmen, like Ratface, at his disposal to carry out his evil deeds. But was he the one responsible for Ace’s near-fatal accident? And, if so, what else is he capable of to fulfill his wicked plans? Could those two handsome and dashing gentlemen vying for Ace’s attention be a fun and trustworthy diversion? Or part of a trap?

Every page keeps the reader guessing while also chuckling over the tongue-in-cheek dialogue and sharp wit. Reminiscent of those old-time serials a la Allan Quartermain or Indiana Jones, or Sam Spade film noir, Ace Carroway and the Handsome Devil will keep readers rolling with laughter and turning pages to see the next great misadventure.

I thoroughly enjoyed every page and the only drawback for me was reading it in the midst of a hectic holiday season when I usually defer to reading favorite holiday classics but put them aside just days before Christmas to read this one. Therefore, I wasn’t able to give it my full attention, with visions of sugarplums dancing in my head and holiday gatherings underway versus a 1920’s jaunt to New York with this fearless team of crime fighters.

But I definitely plan to give it another shot, perhaps as a summertime diversion, when life is a bit slower and the days longer. It would make a fun lighthearted beach book or even something to while away the long hours of a car or train ride to make the miles disappear.

Please feel free to share your review in the comments.

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