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RINGER by Brian M. Wiprud

RINGER

By Brian M. Wiprud

Pub Date: July 19th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-312-60189-8
Publisher: Minotaur

Morty Martinez, Brooklyn’s wealthiest ex-housecleaner, returns from Bolivia for another round of criminal mischief and belly laughs.

East Hampton heiress Purity Grant has such a long record in the courts and tabloids that her mother’s widower and executor, Grab-A-Lot founder Robert Tyson Grant, might well want her dead even if her hijinks didn’t play havoc with both his health and that of his corporate balance sheet. With the connivance of Dixie Faltreau, the nubile and naughty director of the Grant Charitable Trust, Grant hires Paco Ramirez, that noted Mexican hit man, to get rid of Purity. But Paco is delayed by this and that, all lovingly detailed. The Latino whom Grant mistakenly welcomes into his confidence is none other than Morty (Feelers, 2009), who’s been sent to recover a talismanic ring that Grant stole from a dead conquistador’s severed hand back when he was a child in a La Paz orphanage. No sooner has Morty, who’s just as clueless as Grant about the mixup, arrived than conspiracies and counterplots multiply as quickly as cockroaches. Dixie, whom Morty promptly lures from Grant’s bed, turns out to have ideas of her own. So does the equally homicidal Purity, who’s signed a contract with Ultravibe Media that pays her a whopping bonus if she can stir up three scandals within a week. And let’s not forget Helena, the palm reader who swiftly realizes she can milk Grant for more than a few pesos. The whole carnival of crime is juiced by Morty’s fractured, albeit mellifluous, dialogue and the conceit that he’s submitting the whole story in sort-of-screenplay form to a Hollywood producer the night before his execution for murder.

Wiprud (Buy Back, 2010, etc.) even provides a wholesome moral lesson for “others who have been framed by two insane rich people who were hell-bent to kill each other.”