When the daughter of the most powerful Mafia don in New York goes missing, the don's right-hand man comes to Gulliver Dowd for help. Problem is, the right-hand man and Dowd despise each other. Plus, the don knows who murdered Dowd's sister, Keisha, but refuses to share that knowledge with Gulliver. Still, Dowd makes a devil's deal and hunts for the girl. Old secrets and lies boil to the surface, threatening to destroy the lives of everyone involved. But who has the girl? An eccentric art professor, or one of the don's many enemies? Will Gulliver find her, or will their fates dissolve in a corrosive stew of love and fear?
Gulliver Dowd is a little person in a world of hurt. After his sister, an NYPD policewoman, is murdered, he becomes a licensed PI. Dowd is shocked to discover that his mysterious new client is Nina, his high-school girlfriend and the one true love of his life. But the real surprise is yet to come. Nina hires Gulliver to find her runaway daughter, convincing him to take the case only when she confesses that the missing girl is Dowd's daughter too, the product of their high-school romance.
When he takes the case, Dowd must travel from an exclusive girls' academy to a Mafia don's mansion to seek the answer to his newfound daughter's disappearance. But all is not what it seems. What is the real surprise awaiting Gulliver Dowd?
It all begins when PI Gulliver Dowd is approached by Ellis Torres, a street kid, on Valentino Pier in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn. Ellis has lost his dog, and after Gulliver helps to find the dog for him, they go their separate ways. So when Ellis is discovered beaten, unconscious and left for dead not far from the pier early the following morning, Gulliver is horrified—and suspicious. He sets out to find the attacker and learn why the boy was targeted. What Gulliver uncovers by way of bizarre clues—amidst threats of danger to himself and his loved ones—leads him on his most curious case yet. Undeniably, there is something amiss at Valentino Pier.
Gulliver Dowd is finally on the verge of unraveling the mystery behind his sister's murder when the man who is supposed to give him the scoop, NYPD Detective Sam Patrick, is gunned down on the Coney Island Boardwalk. As Dowd delves into Patrick's accidental shooting, he uncovers a pattern of corruption and deceit involving organized crime and the police. But there are tough choices to be made. Just how much is Gulliver willing to sacrifice in order to find out why his sister was murdered and to unmask the killer? The answers aren't found in the moon or the stars, but on the boardwalk. The Boardwalk is third in the Gulliver Dowd Mystery series, featuring a New York private investigator. In award-winning author Louise Penny's words: "A little man with a huge heart and a huge chip on his shoulder, Gulliver Dowd swaggers into the crime fiction world and takes his place with the great investigators. Smart, vulnerable, wounded, heartbreakingly hopeful, I just adore his company."