Criminal Mischief (A Stone Barrington Novel) - book cover
Action & Adventure
  • Publisher : G.P. Putnam's Sons
  • Published : 28 Dec 2021
  • Pages : 320
  • ISBN-10 : 0593331729
  • ISBN-13 : 9780593331729
  • Language : English

Criminal Mischief (A Stone Barrington Novel)

In this exhilarating new thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Stuart Woods, Stone Barrington goes up against an enemy on the run.

After a dangerous adventure has him traveling up and down the coast, Stone Barrington is looking forward to some down time at his Manhattan abode. But when an acquaintance alerts him to a hinky plot being hatched across the city, he finds himself eager to pursue justice. 
After the mastermind behind it all proves more evasive than anyone was expecting, Stone sets out on an international chase to places he's never gone before. With the help of old friends-and alluring new ones-Stone is determined to see the pursuit through to the end, even if it means going up against a foe more unpredictable than he has ever faced...

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"Woods fans will get their money's worth." -Publishers Weekly

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Short Excerpt Teaser


Stone Barrington stood at the bar at P.J. Clarke's, already half a drink ahead of Dino Bacchetti. He and Dino had been NYPD detective partners many moons ago, when they were young and reckless, until it had been suggested by his superiors, with emphasis, that Stone's talents lay elsewhere (anywhere but the NYPD) and he had decamped to the law. He already had a law degree from NYU in his pocket, and an old classmate brought him aboard at the firm of Woodman & Weld, while he crammed for the bar exam. Dino had opted for the whole thirty years and now found himself the police commissioner of New York City. They dined together often.

Not this evening, though. Stone's iPhone buzzed in his pocket, and he reached for it. "It's Stone."

"It's Dino. It's not happening tonight. Big emergency, hands to hold. Tomorrow?"

"Sure, but at Patroon. I'm already at Clarke's."

"At seven." They both hung up.

"Dumped again?" a female voice said from somewhere below him. "He or she?"

He looked down to find a small, dark-haired young woman in a sharp black dress, complete with cleavage, newly perched on a stool he had marked for himself.

"He," Stone replied. "Emergency."

"That's what they all say," she said. "Does that make you available for a drink?"

"I've already got one," Stone replied.

"I haven't."

"What is your pleasure?"

She swiveled toward the bartender. "Knob Creek on the rocks," she said, and it appeared in a flash. She raised her glass to Stone. "Your liver," she said.

"I'll drink to that and yours, too, since you have such good taste in bourbon."

"Do you possess a name?" she asked. "And if so, what is it?"

"I do, and it is Stone Barrington. What about you?"

"I do, as well. Tink Dorsey, a gift from my older brother who liked to say that I was no bigger than a Tinker Toy. I'm five feet, two inches tall. Wasn't that your next question?"

"Well, no," Stone said.

"Then 36-C," she said. "That would have been your second question."

"I thought about it, then decided it was more polite not
to ask."

"Ah, an explorer," she said, getting a laugh. "In what vineyard do you toil?"

"The law, though my partners often question how hard. Your turn again."

"I'm about six chapters away from being a novelist," she said. "Previously I have written only for money."

"And will again, I'm sure. After all, you're only six chapters away."

"And many miles," she said.

"You've just got a slight case of first-novel-itis."

"A critical case."

"You'll handle it."

"We'll see. Does your phone call mean you're free for dinner?"

"Yes. How about you?"

"If you're buying."

"I could not fail to feed a starving writer." He ushered her back to the dining room, where the headwaiter found them a table and menus.

They had finished their dinner and a dessert.

"Would you like a cognac?" Stone asked.

"Yes, thank you, but I'd like it at your place. I want to see how you live."

Stone did not drag his feet. "Certainly," he said, signing the bill.

Outside, he hailed a cab, since Fred, his factotum, was off for the night. Shortly, they were deposited at Stone's front door.

The beeping started as Stone was turning on lights.

"Want me to enter the code for you?" Tink asked.

"Sure." He gave her the code, and the beeping mercifully stopped. "Living room," he said. "Dining room beyond that."

"I hadn't expected a whole house," she said. "Nobody I know has a whole house."

"I inherited it from my great-aunt, my grandmother's sister," he said. "And then I spent every penny I had renovating it. Did most of the work myself."

"That must have taken years," she said.

"Centuries, or so it seemed. Come see the study. We'll find brandy there." He led her across the living room and into the smaller room, then he lit a fire, poured brandy, and pointed her at the sofa.

"What are these four paintings?" Tink asked, pointing.

"Those are by my mother, Matilda Stone. She became very well-known after her death."

Tink walked over and tried to tilt one. "Oh, I thought it wasn't quite straight."

"It's firmly fastened to the wall. They were stolen once, and when I got them back I took pains to see that it wouldn't happen again."

She pointed at a small bronze sculpture. "May I pick this up?"