Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Book Review: Drop Dead My Lovely by Ellis Weiner

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Funny spoof of the PI genre
Cons: More language and sex than I like, but in keeping with genre
The Bottom Line:
Fan of PI books?
You'll laugh at this spoof of them
Spot on and funny

Drop Dead Funny

All Pete Ingalls remembers is waking up in the hospital. He has no recollection of the case that put him there. Still, he figures that the best thing to do is get back to work, so he finds a new office, hires a secretary, and does just that.

See, Pete thinks he's a hardboiled PI in the very classic sense. And the two dames in distress that come calling seem to need him. One is looking for a missing lover. The other wants proof that her husband is having an affair. And while Pete has no clue what he's doing, his secretary, fortunately, does. But will it be enough to get them both through this in one piece?

I'm not familiar with the classic hardboiled detectives of the past, but the little I do know makes it obvious they were the inspiration for this hilarious tale. It's rather obvious to us early on that Pete has amnesia and is delusional. We keep getting clues about his past that put the pieces of that puzzle into place. The mystery plot of the story is also done extremely well. There were several nice twists up until the very end, when everything was wrapped up nice and neat. And the humor! I was laughing out loud the entire way through the book at the confusion of the other characters to Pete, his own confusion over literal interpretations, and his hilarious commentary on life. The sarcasm, word play, and literal misunderstandings were right up my sense of humor.

So why the four stars? This book had foul language that I'm not used to running into in a book. Lots and lots of it. It seemed to get better as the book went along, which I appreciated. There were also several cases of sexual innuendo I didn't care for and a rather long sex scene that I skipped over but still could have done without. I'm well aware this will not bother most people, but it bothered me and lowered my enjoyment of the book. Since I'm the one rating it, I took that into account.

Overall, I enjoyed Drop Dead, My Lovely enough to give the sequel a chance. Here's hoping that it's as funny as this one was.

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