JOHN LESCROART – Treasure Hunt. The Hunt Club #2. Dutton, hardcover, 2010. Signet, paperback, January 2011.

   When the book begins, Wyatt Hunt’s PI firm, known as The Hunt Club, is on hard times. His only employee is Mickey Dade, who works for him as his leg man and general all-around assistant. Mickey’s sister Tamara, who used to work as a receptionist for the firm has left Wyatt after the events in The Hunt Club, the first book in the series.

   But when Mickey finds the body of a noted charity director for the city (San Francisco), he comes up with an idea designed to get the firm back on its feet again. Namely, set up a reward for anyone with information that might help the police with their investigation, with Wyatt, Mickey and Tamara acting as a liaison in screening out crank calls from those that might actually be useful leads.

   Complications set in when Mickey finds himself more than attracted to the woman, the dead man’s chauffeur who gradually becomes the number one suspect by the police.

   I’ve not read too many of Lescroart’s novels, but (almost?) all of them take place in San Francisco with several series and overlapping characters. His major character, an attorney by the name of Dismas Hardy, does not appear in this one, but he is mentioned.

   In any case, what this turns out to be is a straightforward detective story, told from various points of view, including many of the suspects, an approach I don’t much care for/ At well over 400 pages, it is also well padded. Besides several repetitions explaining the basic concept of getting the Hunt Club involved, I also skipped over all of the details of meals that are cooked and the restaurants where the characters meet, greet and eat.

   Lescroart’s prose is simple – not too many long complicated words! – but effective. The leading characters don’t have a lot of depth, but in general they do get along together. I think there may be one loose end not tied up at the end, but I was satisfied enough that I haven’t gone back to check.