Friday, October 20, 2006

MONKEY WRENCH by Harland W. Carson (Authorhouse)

Well, talk about a long road. This clever, engrossing novel came out in 1999, significantly before POD had dug in its heels and overloaded the listings on Amazon. Add to that that it took me a half a year to get around to reading it, and you've got a book that was a long time coming.

Well, it has arrived.

The book I'm talking about is
MONKEY WRENCH by Harland W. Carson (real name A. A. Allan), not to be confused with the book by the same name by P. J. Tracy (MONKEEWRENCH).

I haven't read a captivating, funny mystery like this since MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN. Mysteries, with me, are a tough genre. Like romance, it's easy to step out of bounds and go somewhere ridiculous. But not so with MONKEY WRENCH. He had me from the first page--the first line even:

Face your fear and conquer it, or die slowly by degrees of self-loathing.

WRENCH tells the story of a weathered, mid-life-crisis-aged private eye, Harvey Stubbs.

Jesus, I must have guzzled down a drink for every color there was in the rainbow; only wish I'd stopped at Creme de Menthe for green.

Like any good cozy, it's a mystery that unravels from the opening pages and keeps you guessing chapter after chapter (I tend not to synopsize mysteries, if you happen to be new here). For those of you who enjoyed last year's Needle Award winner, ISN'T THAT BIGAMY? by Mike Vogel, you will be the perfect audience for the page-turner.

I was glad to see somebody else was occupying my preferred stool as I wedged my way up to the bar. Nostalgia for your old routines won't cut it if you're trying to set a new stage in your life.

A simply marvelous book. Loved every word. Grab it on Amazon for $15 and change.