Ting-A-Ling / Mike Faricy
synopsis – A PI gets a call from a woman in a bathroom stall. Seems his number was written on the wall. Well, business is business, right? He takes the case, and delivers a pay-up-or-get-a-(further)-pounding message to the woman’s alleged loanee. Of course, later, the loanee ends up dead. So a cop with an axe or grind brings him in for questioning. Then does it again. And again. In between interrogations, the PI get laid again. And again. But before – er, after – the PI gets in over his head, his childhood pal comes to the rescue.
reaction – A rambling story with shaky character motivations. The investigation seemed to drag a bit, but the story was written with humor, which kept me engaged enough to finish the book. I didn’t connect with any of the characters, but the odd sexual fixation of the PI was interesting. A bit like Columbo, but with less charm and more sex. Mercifully, the sex parts were only mentioned in passing. A fizzle of an ending. Read this if you’re into bumbling PI stories.
recommendation – You’re taking your chances with this hit and miss book.
Phone Kitten / Marika Christian
synopsis – A chubby Florida Woman with self-esteem issues loses her newspaper job and starts working as a PSO. A co-ed has to pay her tuition, right? Meanwhile, she loses some of her chub, thanks to her gay manfriend, and gets a few lessons in self-esteem, thanks to her manfriend’s boyfriend. And she even snags her own boyfriend. But when one of her best customers ends up dead, she decides to prove herself once and for all and solve the case herself. Yikes. Does she not know she’s in Florida?
reaction – A humorous, engaging read with lots of “fat girl” tropes: food, gay manfriends, food, granny panties, and food. Working girl’s gotta eat, right? Being familiar with PSO, I appreciated the mostly accurate take on the industry. A few “what the hell were you thinking” decisions, and a few implausible lucky breaks, but the likability of the main character kept me cheering her on. Plus, the story was set in Florida, and that trope did not disappoint. Yikes.
recommendation – This book renewed my will to live.