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Joe Ide’s debut novel delivers on twists, finale

Associated Press

“IQ”

By Joe Ide

(Mullholland Books)

This is the book cover image for “IQ” by Joe Ide.

Sherlock Holmes — and all his incarnations — never go out of style. It’s not just the updates that keep the Great Detective in our minds, but the myriad stories that use Holmes’ traits of perception, keen observation and even anti-social personality to fuel fresh plots.

Author Joe Ide incorporates those attributes into an original story and character. “IQ” delivers a moving, yet action-packed plot that never disappoints as it looks at rap music, a community and a young man trying to find his place in the world.

“IQ” is Isaiah Quintabe, who earned the nickname that he hates because of his intellect and observation powers. He was deemed “near genius” for his reasoning scores. He dropped out of high school following the hit-and-run death of his older brother, Marcus, who raised him. In danger of becoming a career burglar, or worse, Isaiah finds salvation of sorts doing sleuthing-type jobs — his form of community service — for his neighbors in East Long Beach, California. He takes on cases the police could not or would not get involved in, and his latest assignment could pay a lot more than what he usually gets.

Calvin Wright, a rapper known as Black the Knife, hires Isaiah to find out who ordered a hit on him that involved a huge pit bull and a sharpshooter. Quintabe maneuvers the worlds of rap music, pit bulls and rival gangs, and deals with Wright’s odd bodyguards and a conniving music executive.

The brisk plot of “IQ” is balanced by the intriguing character of Quintabe, inexperienced in the ways of the world but with intelligence that makes him anything but naive.

Ide’s storytelling skills don’t waver as “IQ” delivers realistic twists and a solid finale.

— Oline H. Cogdill

“The Twelve Dogs of Christmas: an Andy Carpenter Mystery”

By David Rosenfelt

(Minotaur)

This is the book cover of “The Twelve Dogs of Christmas” by David Rosenfelt.

David Rosenfelt is known for his legal thrillers filled with wry humor. His latest, “The Twelve Dogs of Christmas,” is heartwarming and ingeniously plotted.

Andy Carpenter is a criminal defense attorney. He rarely takes cases, having inherited a fortune from his father. But Carpenter loves dogs, so he’s eager to help a woman who’s known as “Pups” because she takes care of abandoned puppies. Pups’ problem? A newcomer to her neighborhood has complained to the local zoning board that she has more dogs than are allowed per household.

With his characteristically hilarious courtroom performance, Carpenter shows the absurdity of the regulation and gets her a waiver to keep the puppies. Within a few hours, the newcomer is found murdered and Pups is arrested. She was seen running from his house, and the gun that killed him is found in her basement.

Carpenter believes Pups was framed, and he vows to find out how and why.

The familiar characters that liven up the series are present in “The Twelve Dogs of Christmas.” Carpenter’s endearing first-person narrative moves the story along with just the right mixture of humor and suspense.

— Waka Tsunoda

Best-sellers

For the week ending Oct. 2, 2016.

Hardcover fiction

1. “Two by Two” by Nicholas Sparks (Grand Central)

2. “Small Great Things” by Jodi Picoult (Ballantine)

3. “Order to Kill” by Flynn/Mills (Atria/Bestler)

4. “Woman of God” by Patterson/Paetro (Little, Brown)

5. “Home” by Harlan Coben (Dutton)

6. “Crimson Death” by Laurel K. Hamilton (Berkley)

7. “Commonwealth” by Ann Patchett (Harper)

8. “Twelve Days of Christmas” by Debbie Macomber (Ballantine)

9. “The Book of Mysteries” by Jonathan Cahn (Frontline)

10. “Today Will Be Different” by Maria Semple (Little, Brown)