Crimson Shore by Preston & Child
There is a kind of cultish element involved with following these books. They can become an addiction that you laugh to yourself about because the books are so absurd, but that fact doesn't deter
Crimson Shore has Pendergast and his ward Constance Greene taking a case about a missing wine collection because the victim of the theft is a sculptor whose work Pendergast admires and the wine is a case of Haut-Braquilanges '04. Pendergast will exchange his services for one bottle of the rare vintage wine.
Once they arrive in Exmouth, Mass., they discover a secret room in the cellar, a connection to The Cask of Amontillado, a murder or two or more, a centuries old shipwreck, a coterie of witches.... Well, you get the picture.
Constance's role has increased in the last few books and continues to develop in this one, but none of the other familiar characters make an appearance. Crimson Shore has Pendergast and Constance working as a duo on this case.
The books are preposterous and, if you like this kind of thing, great fun. I started reading them in the 90's when a student recommended Relic and have continued to enjoy them ever since. Great choice for the R.I.P. Challenge.
Read in August; blog review scheduled for Oct. 12, 2015.
NetGalley/Grand Central Publishing.
Mystery/Paranormal/Horror. Nov. 10, 2015. Print length: 352 pages.