25505952Like many working writers, Todhunter Ballard used different pseudonyms on his prose. Neil Macneil was one of many that he used on his Costa in and McCall novels.

Tony Costaine and Bert McCall were partners, PIs that billed themselves as business detectives. They didn’t get paid by the hour, but received a fee of 20,000 dollars. Plus expenses of course.

Which is to say criminal activities might not slip into their lives.

Like their current case. The Climax Car Company, high end models, was on the verge of bankruptcy, no longer able to compete with the big three, and the founder, Magnus Paddock, had recently committed suicide. The family called them in because they’d done work for the old man before. And they didn’t believe it was suicide.

In the course of the case they deal with a corporate raider that’s offering more than the it’s worth, shots fired at them, hot women, another murder, a half brother to the family with criminal tendencies, and cops that keep arresting them even though they are usually on the receiving end of the violence.

A lot of fun.