I don’t know about you, but whenever I come home from a book-hunting expedition and start going through my finds and come across an author I’ve never heard of before, I immediately go to Al Hubin’s Crime Fiction IV to see what other mystery fiction he might have done.

   Case in point. George Adams, whose entry in CFIV looks like this:

   ADAMS, GEORGE (1936- )
       * Swindle (Pocket Books, 1989, pb) [Charlie Byrne; New York City, NY]
       * Insider’s Price (Pocket Books, 1993, pb) [Charlie Byrne; New York City, NY]

   The book I bought while on the road was his first one, Swindle, and thanks to the Internet, it wasn’t too difficult to find his other one. Nor was it too expensive. I don’t think the demand is very high, but let’s see if I can’t do something about that. Maybe I’ll succeed, and maybe I won’t, but it’s worth a try.

Swindle. Pocket, paperback original; 1st printing, February 1989.

Swindle, George Adams

From the back cover:


   Charlie is a high-fashion photographer, part-time bicycle racer and a full-time lover. Manhattan is his playground. But when his sexy stylist loses $50,000 to a phony investment scheme. Charlie makes his first mistake. With the help of an out-of-work actor and a very busy hustler he sets out to scam the scammer – and get the money back. Instead, he finds a money-mad netherworld of insider trading, wiseguys, murder and sex, and there’s no telling the good guys from the bad … A gorgeous woman and a Wall Street wizard are the heavy hitters in a ruthless game to separate New York’s most beautiful people from their money. Charlie Byrne has wandered right into the middle of a nightmare that could only happen in New York – and getting out will be as simple as staying alive.

About the author:

   Like his hero, Charlie Byrne, George Adams is a well-known New York advertising photographer who can be found racing his bike in Central Park on Sundays. Unlike Charlie, he almost always finishes the New York Times crossword puzzle. Adams’ work appears on the front cover of this book.

Review excerpt: [Chicago Sun-Times] “A page turner with lots of twists and turns, flesh-and-blood characterizations, and swift and rhythmic prose. It’s hard to believe Swindle is a first novel.”

Insider’s Price. Pocket, paperback original; 1st printing, September 1993.

Insider's Price

From the back cover:


   High-fashion photographer Charlie Byrne heads from his humble midtown digs to the Upper East Side when old acquaintance JoJo Cyzeski – now Josephine – hires him to shoot a priceless Aubusson tapestry. The tapestry, and the fabulous co-op, belong to Marc Ransom, megabucks New York real estate developer and legendary ladykiller. But a darker side to the glittering world develops when the shoot is short-circuiited by a blackout and an apparent suicide in the adjoining courtyard. That’s when Charlie meets the gorgeous sister of the dead woman, who leads him into the gilded precincts of real estate royalty, where doing business can be murder….

   From a terrifying Times Square fleabag hotel to a penthouse bought with drop-dead deals, from the homeless woman camped in his doorway to the bevy of beauties in Ransom’s collection, Charlie follows clues to the suspect suicide and lands on the bottom line of the New York real estate game – where monopoly is played for keeps.

From inside the front cover:


   I leaned on the button continuously. “Come on,” I pleaded.

   A woman’s scream pierced the ambient sound of TV’s and ghetto blasters. “He’s an old man, leave him alone!” Smack! Then a baby was bawling.

   Tito and I swapped looks. We bolted down the corridor. A spindly black girl, a bawling child on her hip, sobbed into her hand. Four goons were working someone over.

   Tito leveled the Nikon to his eye and fired. They froze like statues. The flash etched them on my retina. One was Angel. The bandaged one was James. The other two were strangers. An old man was lying on the floor.

   “Yo, James, lookee ’ere.” Angel grinned, his vision clearing.

   One of them flicked open a switchblade. The four of them advanced.

   Tito and I began backpedaling. I sighted my camera and let them have a blast of strobe. The flashes took forty seconds to recharge, an eternity. We’d shot our load …

   “Get ’em,” Angel barked …