The Pink Pony

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The Port Huron-Mackinac sailboat race has just finished at Mackinac Island, and the racers head for the nearest bar, the legendary Pink Pony. This night, however takes on a grisly turn and the next morning one of the skippers, Jimmy Lyons, is found in the bar strangled to death by a string of Christmas tree lights. Burr Lafayette celebrated at The Pink Pony the night of the murder and takes on the case, largely because he needs the money. Late forties, recently divorced and a part-time father, he is a man at loose ends. The deposed head of the litigation department of a major Detroit law firm, he much prefers boats and fishing, dogs and duck hunting, women and wine. Nonetheless, he is a brilliant, if reluctant litigator.


Burr sets out on a journey filled with unsavory characters and legal setbacks. Burr, though, is at his best in court. A legal twist almost costs him the case, but he finally untangles the characters and their secrets, and, in a thrilling and shocking climax, unmasks the murderer.


The Pink Pony is Anatomy of a Murder and The Thin Man rolled into one. A legal thriller with larger than life characters and a plot that will keep you guessing to the last sentence. Once you pick up The Pink Pony, you won't be able to put it down.


“Cutter’s debut legal thriller tells the story of a litigator in Mackinac Island, Michigan, who defends a man accused of murder. Attorney Burr Lafayette is called to a bar called The Pink Pony by police chief Art Brandstatter, who suspects that Burr stole a pink hobbyhorse that normally hangs above the bar’s door. But inside the bar is a scene of a far more serious crime: Jimmy Lyons lies dead by strangulation. The novel spotlights a lawyer, Burr Lafayette, who shines at trial. His snide, often mumbled commentary becomes fitting when he’s facing a judge who clearly doesn’t like him and who’s more interested in wrapping things up quickly. The story’s legal banter is snappy, vibrant, and not without humor; one of the prosecutor’s objections against Burr, for example, is that ‘Counsel is flirting with the witness.’ Burr’s investigation does eventually get a breakthrough, and there’s an effective plot twist near the end. His rapid-fire questioning of defendants on the stand, though, is nothing short of exhilarating. A mystery with a protagonist who’s truly in his element inside the courtroom.”


- Kirkus Reviews

“Mackinac Island and the legendary bar, The Pink Pony, doesn’t get any more exciting than at the finish of the Port Huron-Mackinac sailboat race, but author Charles Cutter cranks the excitement up a notch in The Pink Pony, a first-rate murder mystery where nothing is as it seems. At The Pink Pony on Mackinac Island, you can belly up to the bar, tell a few lies and end up dead in Charles Cutter’s original, fast-paced mystery where Islander Burr Lafayette finds himself defending a likely suspect in a totally unique whodunnit. Mackinac Island never shined brighter than in Charles Cutter’s original mystery which will keep you guessing to the very end and that’s no manure. Charles Cutter mixes a lethal brew in his new mystery, The Pink Pony, complete with Mackinac Island lore and licentiousness. When a celebration at the end of the Port Huron-Mackinac sailboat race ends in murder at The Pink Pony, the favorite bar of locals, attorney Burr Lafayette must sink or swim to keep his head above water in a unique and totally enjoyable mystery.”


~Bill Castanier, literary writer at Lansing City Pulse

“The Pink Pony captures all the magic and mystery of Mackinac Island in this delightful page-turner of a whodunnit. Reminiscent of Robert Traver’s Anatomy of a Murder, author Charles Cutter brings to life colorful northern Michigan and UP characters and customs, while weaving a well-crafted courtroom drama that will keep you guessing to the end. An excellent read.”


~Dennis O. Cawthorne, author of Mackinac Island: Inside, Up Close, and Personal

Design by Clemons Creative  |  Charles Cutter |  2019