Thursday, December 15, 2011

Murder in the 11th House

Murder in the 11th House, by Mitchell Scott Lewis, is more than a mystery novel. It's a work of fiction skillfully woven in intricate patterns from the science of Astrology.  It also provides a thought provoking link to political and social woes of the world of 2011.

The book, standing alone, is well plotted with just the right amount of 'is she innocent?' or 'is she guilty'? Did the mouthy, crusty, young barmaid, who calls herself 'Johnny' Colbert, hate Judge Farrah Winston enough to blow her and her car into infinite pieces? Johnny certainly had the skill and knowledge, as well as the motive. Her pro bono attorney, Melinda Lowell, just happens to be the daughter of David Lowell, famed astrologer and owner of the Starlight Detective Agency. Together they call on the 'stars', as in astrological signs, to solve the murder and in doing so put themselves and their employees in grave danger.

The characters in the book are well crafted. I especially liked David Lowell, some of his qualities reminiscent of  the famous Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot. His fastidiousness, manner of dress, eating habits, and razor sharp intuitiveness spoke of Christie's creation in a modern setting.

I was amazed at how much knowledge can be gleaned from a person's birth chart. The book, Murder in the 11th House, has interesting sidelines regarding the lottery, and the general well-being of our nation. It also has a humanitarian quality rare in works of fiction. Well worth the read-for the information on astrology, and for the storyline. I'm looking forward to the next book in this new series.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

When Pigs Fly

When Pigs Fly, by Bob Sanchez,  is the most unorthodox book I've ever read. I'm not referring to the religious connotations of unorthodox, but to the fact that the book is totally unconventional. It's hysterically funny and at the same time truly disgusting.

The 'Mystery' hinges on a lottery ticket and ceramic urn filled with a dead man's ashes. The villain, Diet Cola, is every person's worst nightmare. A horrible slob, without an ounce of conscience. The characters that cross his path are a outlandish group. Ace and Frosty, two Abbott and Costello criminals, do have a conscience although it doesn't always get in the way of their petty crimes. Elvis Hornacre believes he is the real 'King' (Elvis Presley) and dresses accordingly. He literally lets it all hang out. Calliope Vrattos is a former barmaid with a purse full of common but potentially lethal weapons, like a hairbrush and tampons. Carrick and Brodie Durgin are a slightly-senile geriatric couple going blithely through life, aiding and abetting even wounded criminals, while their son, Mack Durgin, retired cop, seems to be one of the more sane people occupying the pages of the book. Mack does, however, talk to his dead friend's ashes and has an unfortunate one-night-stand with someone he visualizes as Mae West. Her boyfriend, called Zippy, because he has a zipper tattooed over his brain, takes exception and - well - it all comes together in one rollicking, fascinating wedding adventure atop the Grand Canyon where Diet Cola shows up in nothing but a classic, patient hospital gown. I'll leave you now to either read the book, or try to make sense of this review. Before I go, I must mention the most important character; Poindexter the pig. Do pigs really fly? Sometimes. But only when decked-out in sequins.

So, if you aren't offended by smelly arm-pits, rapid rise testosterone, and other bodily functions, I think you'll enjoy this raunchy, highly entertaining offering by Bob Sanchez. I promise you won't read another quite like it!