Clifford Roberts’ Dead Nobles is a sharp, dialect-driven crime novel. With raw language and equally engaging plot and characters, Roberts’ style gets to the heart of a crime-laden city. “Cut the cackle, Shackle,” Tam scolded. “On the serious side, and not the brightest man in the world, I am aware that the reports of my good to great dearth are greatly exaggerated. Spite of financial difficulties, I’m rubbing along. I certainly don’t possess a great pile of boodle or ducats, okay?” Considering the man to be a picaro -a rogue with wicked ways, Tam said to the precious scoundrel, “I got ya. Mr. Havisham who always seemed very disloyal. La-deefreakin’-da. “You might pay one hundred dollars for your shoes, but I’m the one that’d have to pay for your flip-flops. So whatcha gotta tell me Mr. Silly Spoon?” Looking at the man’s face, a frowsy smell of stale beer and stale smoke flared his nostrils. This character Shackle’s hobby getting on people’s nerves-especially his!-and very good at it, swearing all heart, but by his proboscis, all nose. Dead Nobles is a crime novel like no other. Rich with dialect and slang, Roberts begins with Tam-o’-shanter, a police detective in lower Manhattan. A killer wrapped up in the city’s nightlife quickly tests Tam’s street persona and detective skills. Imaginative and well written, this crime novel is filled with gruesome murders, true dialect and creative twists and turns. Dead Nobles is a crime novel for a specific reader: gruesome crime and literary. While the combination of humor, crime, dialect and twists make for an interesting read, it would be fair to say that some readers may not enjoy the challenge that the dialect brings. For this reader, though, the dialect never overshadowed the plot and I felt that it only contributed to the overall rawness of the novel. A definite must read for crime lovers who are up for the challenge!