"Quick & Dirty" (G.P. Putnam's Sons), by Stuart Woods

Stone Barrington's newest "adventure," and that is, really, what this sophisticated, smart and well-heeled guy seeks on a regular basis to keep him interested beyond his world of private jets and yachts, has an old-school touch.

In "Quick & Dirty," author Stuart Woods plucks Stone from the A-list company he's been keeping, including the current and former presidents of the United States, foreign ambassadors and movie-studio moguls, and puts him more in the crowd that he was keeping about 20 years ago. (Woods has churned out contributions to this series on a very regular basis since 1991.)

There are thugs. There's a dive bar. There's a romance among "the help" that requires Stone to delve into the world of those who serve his wealthy friends. And, when was the last time he was in Harlem?!

Of course, there is a rich and beautiful woman by his side, but Morgan Tillman doesn't have the integrity of the U.S. secretary of state, who was Stone's previous girlfriend.

Morgan is seeking help from Stone, a former New York Police Department detective and current partner in an elite law firm, to get the insurance settlement for a Van Gogh painting that was removed from her apartment at the same time her infamous investment-banker husband met his death directly below their penthouse patio. Whether that was an accident, murder or at the hands of Morgan is something that Stone has to figure out before getting that $60 million check.

Now the work that Stone has been farming out to the CIA and British intelligence is for him to do. He's acting as a lone wolf, doing the background checks and surveillance, and the case is to be solved on his intuition.

As a longtime fan of this series, it's great to see him back in the game — and thoroughly enjoying it — even if it's a little unbelievable that Stone can go back to his less-polished gumshoe roots.

___

Online:

http://stuartwoods.com/