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“Just for starters, Candlewood Lake is in Connecticut. It’s against the law for me to transport you across state lines unless you’re accompanied by a parent or a legal guardian.

“The age of consent is 17 in New York. In Connecticut, it’s 16. Try again, liar mouth.

“OK, it’s like this. I’m a licensed private investigator. I’m going there on official investigative business. And you’re not coming with me, understood?

“Jeez, Benji, you don’t have to go all butthead on me.

“Sorry, you left me no choice.”

And Mr. Handler leaves this reader with no choice but to look forward to his next novel — “The Coal Black Asphalt Tomb: A Berger and Mitry Mystery” — which, I am happy to report, will be out in March 2014.

John Greenya is a Washington-area writer.