Wurster’s first novel plunges an amiable Kansas City househusband, a self-described “coaster,” into perilously deep waters—first financial, then criminal.
Robert Patterson has always been content to let his wife bring home the bacon. As president of The Bennett Company, Sarah pulls down a hefty salary and serves as heir apparent to her founding father, who remains CEO. But when Samuel Bennett dies just short of his 70th birthday, his will provides the first of a series of shocks. It turns out that in order to take advantage of an arcane wrinkle in the tax code, Sam has named his lightweight son-in-law, not his savvy wife or daughter, as the trustee responsible for administering his considerable holdings. Bob thinks his minder, James Madison, will condemn him to endless rounds of pointless meetings and interchangeable pitch sessions from hopeful inventors looking for venture capital. He’s only half right, because one of those pitches is anything but interchangeable. Tom Swanson, the smiling frontman for Sanitol Solutions, wants Bob to back his revolutionary new method for cleaning up messes, all kinds of messes, without toxic chemicals or unsightly traces or, really, any traces at all. Discovering that Sam originally passed on Sanitol, Bob prepares to do the same, little knowing that Swanson has considerably more resources at his disposal, and considerably fewer scruples, for securing Bob’s backing. Only after a pleasantly improbable series of escalating complications, including a direct encounter with Sanitol’s Muffin Monster, will Bob be ready for the conveniently pat resolution.
With its fish-out-of-water plot and cartoonish characters, this would make a perfect beach read for account executives and unprepared heirs.