Stein, Stung (Harry Stein mystery #2)
by Hal Ackerman
“Sly humor abounds…”
Last time it was stolen weed and knockoff designer shampoo. This time it is the seemingly trivial occurrence of a few pilfered honeybee colonies that propel former hippie and merry prankster, Harry Stein into the multi-trillion dollar world of the honeybee industry. In the presence of six trillion bees to pollinate millions of acres of almond trees, Stein who is deathly allergic to bee stings, discovers the natural catastrophe of colony collapse, and a corrupt grab by organized AGROBIZ for all of the available water in Southern California.
In his absence, Harry’s daughter Angie and Lila’s very attractive 17 year-old Stepson find an elephant tusk that has seeped into Lila’s pool from the la Brea tar pits. When the rest of the skeleton emerges, it turns out not to be the prehistoric mammoth they’d hoped it would be, but a human being who just might have been murdered in the 1920s The perpetrator of the 80 year-old murder is still alive and the most powerful man in Los Angeles and will do anything necessary to keep the secret hidden.
“When we last saw L.A. private eye Harry Stein, former countercultural hero and best-selling author of Smoke This Book, he was tracking down stolen medical marijuana and sniffing out some smelly malfeasance in the perfume industry (Stein, Stoned, 2010). Now he’s chasing after a few crates of purloined bees. It turns out that bees are big in California’s Central Valley, where their services are required to support the multibillion-dollar almond industry. Harry, unfortunately, is deathly allergic to bees, so the fact that he’s snooping around in a place where a cool trillion bees are currently in residence makes him more than a little bit skittery. And for good reason, we soon learn. Meanwhile, back in Beverly Hills, Stein’s daughter, Angie, is unearthing bones from an oil pit where the hot tub used to be—human or mastodon? And the bones couldn’t possibly tie in to the bee caper, could they? Think of Harry as a nicer but equally harried and quick-witted version of Larry David, and you’ll begin to get an idea of how just how wacky this comic crime series really is.”
“Sly humor abounds in Ackerman’s second mystery featuring aging L.A. hippie Harry Stein…”