Short Squeeze

A Mystery

Jackie Swaitkowski Mysteries (Volume 1)

Chris Knopf

Minotaur Books

The outside world thinks living in the Hamptons requires a Bentley, a face-lift, and a shingle-style home the size of Buckingham Palace. The truth is a lot more complicated than that. Dig a little deeper and you're as likely to find a saint--or a Mensa genius--as you are a deviant or certified nut job lurking right below the surface.
I know this because these are my beloved clients.
Meet Jackie Swaitkowski, a smart-aleck attorney whose legal turf is supposed to be the buzzing Hamptons real-estate market. But when a new client turns up dead, things take a sudden and decidedly dangerous turn. In a client's pocket is an envelope that contains a shocking piece of evidence that suggests that the death was anything but an accident.
Jackie has bigger fish to fry--like her old flame Harry's surprise return to town--until a late-night car chase changes her priorities. Now she has every reason to believe that the next name on the killer's list is her own.
Chris Knopf has been praised for his quick-witted writing and broad knowledge of the highs and lows of Hamptons life, and his books have been included on best-of-the-year lists complied by The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and others. Now, in Short Squeeze, he brings an irresistible new heroine to center stage.


Read an Excerpt


I don’t know how to dress. It’s easier to just say, "Oh, you’re right—this skirt and blouse have no business being together on the same body. That’s what I get for dressing in the dark."

I feel that way about my life in general. I know it doesn’t look very good, but I seem to be missing the specific talent to do anything about it.

Getting through law school was probably the only thing I ever did on purpose that might have been a good idea. Even a lousy lawyer can usually make enough money to stay a little north of the poverty line, and



Praise for Short Squeeze

“Knopf has a touch I like—cool, careful, reflective—and a great ear for the comic eccentricities of the human voice.”
Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
"Though Connecticut abounds with mystery novelists, one of its better-kept secrets in the genre is Chris Knopf of Avon. . . . His latest novel, Short Squeeze, both improves and expands on his winning formula. . . . Knopf pulls off another difficult feat in this novel. He truly and fully inhabits the being of a female narrator. She’s disheveled, disorganized but highly effective at what she does. . . . A misstep here and a sour note there, and the illusion of a living, breathing female lead collapses. But Knopf walks the literary tightrope well.”--The Sunday Republican

"Manic Jackie may have a law degree and a place in the Hamptons, but she’s still worthy kin to her more downscale Trenton sister Stephanie Plum."

--Kirkus Reviews

"This spin-off features the same vividly evoked Hamptons setting and the same crisp prose, brisk plotting, and sharp dialogue as Knopf’s critically acclaimed Sam Acquillo series, but here center stage switches from ex-boxer and construction worker Acquillo to a resolute first-person female protagonist who was widowed in her 20s but likes living alone just fine. More engaging hard-boiled crime fiction from a rising star."
"Chris Knopf always delivers great characters and a solid plot but this fifth book is his best, an dit also brings back smart lawyer Jackie Swaitkowski as teh central figure."
--The Globe and Mail


"Fans of Spencer and Travis McGee will love the off-speed dialogue."

--Kirkus Reviews

"What makes the novel feel fresh is whip-smart, snappy dialogue and intriguing characters, particularly smart women who handily skirt cliché."

--The Boston Globe

"It's such a pleasure to visit this seaside refuge the tourists never see."

--Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review


"A sly depiction of the East End of Long Island and the Hamptons as they really are, combined with strong plotting, solid characters, and hard-boiled dialogue worthy of Elmore Leonard or John D. MacDonald."

--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Knopf writes with the grace of an angel and the intensity of a demon, and his stories are perfectly plotted. Though he owes a debt to the Raymond Chandler and Co., he's his own man. His books are part of a distinguished heritage, but this is noir for now."

--Richmond Times-Dispatch

"Everything about it (characters, plotting, setting) is brilliant."

--Library Journal

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Chris Knopf

  • CHRIS KNOPF is author of the Sam Acquillo Hamptons Mystery series, including The Last Refuge, Two Time, Head Wounds, and Hard Stop, which won the Benjamin Franklin Award for Best Mystery. A copywriter by trade, Chris is a principal of Mintz & Hoke Communications Group. He lives with his wife, Mary, and dog, Samuel Beckett, in Avon, Connecticut, and Southampton, New York, where he sets sail on the sacred Little Peconic Bay.
  • Chris Knopf Meagan Longcore





    Available Formats and Book Details

    Short Squeeze

    A Mystery

    Jackie Swaitkowski Mysteries

    Chris Knopf

    • e-Book



    Minotaur Books