In his debut novel, Spencer Manning agrees to look for a little girl’s unknown father in exchange for beef stew and chocolate cake. His search quickly crosses paths with an open murder investigation in which Spencer’s client is a suspect. Spencer’s close relationship with the police give him an open door to information, and his sometimes creative strategies bring insight the police would not otherwise have. A colorful cast of interesting characters add humor and intrigue and lead Spencer to the racetrack and the mayor’s house.
Sprinkled with Chicago history, Change of Address will take you through Chicago neighborhoods where despair and sadness dwell side by side with big money. The list of suspects will keep you guessing and wanting more Spencer Manning.
Reviews for Change of Address
Author Polad does a masterful job of mesmerizing the reader with Manning’s likability and an oddball mix of colorful characters and suspects. Before you know it, the story is an intriguing murder mystery and you’re wondering how you got embroiled in it so effortlessly. A great first installment for a promising new series!”
-Gary Lindberg, bestselling author of The Shekinah Legacy and Sons of Zadoc
Polad has written a compelling mystery. It is a well plotted, hard boiled, PI story which pays homage to the subgenre’s history while still forging new territory for itself. Spencer knows how a PI should be but he has to reconcile what the job is like in reality.
This mystery has the perfect mix of humor and seriousness. Spencer is a great character who is a PI novice resulting in some humorous blundering but combined with his family’s deep roots in the Chicago PD and their personal tragedy adds the gravitas you need when dealing with a murder investigation.
The character development is also strong in this debut. Spencer alone will bring readers back for the next book. But as regular readers of mystery series know, it is often the secondary characters that keep readers coming back. Here Polad comes through again. The police chief and Spencer’s diner owning friend/first client, and his various friends are all excellent.
The mystery itself is very Chicago-centric and will appeal to people who enjoy that setting. The places as well as the politics of Chicago and the 1990s setting will draw readers in. And I have to say, even though I thought I figured out the “whodunit” here early on, I was only partially right. The twists and turns of the plot as well as the eventual reveal of what was truly going on was clever, interesting, and satisfying. There are plenty of well established mystery authors for whom I could not give this praise.”
Becky S. Spratford, An Amazon Reader
Rick Polad’s book, Change of Address, is in the best tradition of Robert Parker. The book is about characters, and it has plenty of them to keep you on the edge of your seat wondering how Chicago private eye, Spencer Manning, will carry the day. Throughout the book, Polad’s well-crafted plot is set against the background of Manning’s personal life – virtues, vices, dilemmas – so that we see the man in greater context with his adversaries and own personal demons. The story line, which revolves around a missing person case but eventually evolves into murder and kidnapping, is multidimensional and complex, but Polad’s writing is clear and concise, deftly taking the reader on a journey through two-bit diners to hip jazz clubs. Polad’s protagonists and antagonists are equally entertaining as is the entire book and I highly recommend it and hope that he has in mind to continue this Spencer Manning series. A terrific start to a promising writer.”
-Donald J. Terras, BSI, President, Hounds of the Baskervilles, Chicago Chapter of the Baker Street Irregulars