W. GLENN DUNCAN – Rafferty: Wrong Place, Wrong Time. Fawcett Gold Medal, paperback original; 1st printing, July 1989.

   This is the fourth of six recorded adventures of a Dallas-based PI named Rafferty, all published by Gold Medal in the late 80s and early 90s. There is some similarity in the stories to another PI based in Boston in that he is a rather macho guy, has a steady girl friend with whom he gets along very well, including lots of friendly banter, and a buddy named Cowboy (with all that that implies) whom he calls on whenever he gets himself into a jam and needs help.

   It is also a book that is fun to read for most of its way — until, that is, you start getting the “is that all there is?” feeling about two-thirds of the way through. Both of the cases Rafferty is working on turn out to be very light ones, even though the first results in a case of murder almost immediately: a guy posing as a bounty hunter hires Rafferty to distract his intended victim, and succeeds.

   The second, that of an elderly gentleman being harassed by neighbor kids, is amusing but nothing more, even if the older man, who starts out being a devout curmudgeon, turns out to have had a life well worth living, much to Rafferty’s pleasure.

   I mentioned earlier the existence of another PI working the Boston area, and the similarities between the two sets of characters. Echoes of the other series with this one are obvious, but to tell you the truth, I think I heard Robert Urich’s voice in the first person commentary than I did the other fellow’s. Not that that’s entirely a bad thing, you understand, but your mileage may vary.

       The Rafferty series —

1. Rafferty’s Rules (1987)
2. Last Seen Alive (1987)
3. Poor Dead Cricket (1988)
4. Wrong Place, Wrong Time (1989)
5. Cannon’s Mouth (1990)
6. Fatal Sisters (1990)