Day: September 30, 2014
British expat, now LA resident, Sean Cameron like dinosaurs and carrot cake, and as you might expect, he has a decidedly weird sense of humor. That wacky sense comes through clearly in Catchee Monkey, a Rex and Eddie mystery set in Cloisterham, ‘a place to live.’ I received a free copy of this book for review.
The story starts with Harold the cleaner, who while doing cleanup in an office block finds a body with half a head – the rest of the head having been spattered all over the office. ‘Bugger’ is all Harold can say.
Then, in come Eddie and Rex. A couple of hapless friends who can’t even hold on to jobs as do-nothing rent-a-cops in a shopping mall (Eddie can’t hold on to his girlfriend Melinda either), they decide to become private detectives. Actually, Rex decides, and Eddie just tags along. Things get really weird when they end up renting the murder office and decide to solve the still unsolved killing.
If you like your humor shoveled on in the style of ‘The Three Stooges,’ or ‘Laurel and Hardy,’ you’ll love Catchee Monkey. I can’t say I really understood how the title relates to the story – but, I was laughing so hard, I forgot why I couldn’t understand it. A truly funny book that I highly recommend. An easy four stars.
Patricia Delaney, eGumshoe extraordinaire, is back and better than the last time. Sharon Short’s computer-savvy private eye, who uses her vast knowledge of computers to solve crimes, was good in Past Pretense, but in The Death We Share, which I received a free copy of to review, she storms through cyber space like a comet and shines with the brilliance of a nova.
When retired opera diva and movie star Carlotta Moses is contacted by a sleazy TV tabloid journalist and ‘threatened’ with exposure about a supposed past misdeed, her family contacts Delaney for help. As is her style, eGumshoe Delaney uses her expertise with computers to get to the bottom of the case, but she also has the requisite physical encounters which must be overcome.
In the introduction to this and her previous book, Short mentions that she’d received writing advice from noted mystery author Sue Grafton, and the fact that she took Grafton’s advice to heart is evident in every well-chosen word. The little snippets of self-deprecating humor – hard to do in third person, but she achieves it – the tidbits about the main character’s background that helps the reader to get to know and sympathize with her are typical of Grafton’s book, but Short has done them in her own unique style.
The mystery world could use more of Patricia Delaney. This could, in fact, be the makings of a great TV series – Hollywood, are you listening? Five stars!