The smash and grab method worked for us this weekend when we finally turned the last page on Steve Martin’s semi-turgid An Object of Beauty only to realize that we were without a backup making it necessary to hitch up the boxer-in-residence and hike back to the salt mine where Librarian de Plume had the watch. The Boxer gets kind of antsy in the Library, so we had to decide quickly, snatching the above David Ellis from the new releases where it has sat unread since its March arrival. The non-reading is mysterious. When we got back to the Wolfe den, Mrs. W. informed us that she has been reading Ellis for some time and has found him more than reliable, so we sat down to one of Mrs. W’s excellent lunches and plowed into a really top-rate story of murder and gubernatorial rot, clearly modeled on Illinois and Chicago where Ellis lives. Couldn’t put it down. Excellent.