A zealous, persistently amusing detective tale.


From the Carnegie Fitch Mystery Fiasco series , Vol. 2

Sleuth Carnegie Fitch returns to investigate a dubious new religion headed by a dangerous quasi-preacher in the second installment of a mystery series about him. 

Despite successfully closing a case the year before, unlicensed Vancouver private eye Fitch has given up his office. Now driving a tow truck, he still has the PI “itch” and is currently working pro bono in his search for a missing calico cat. But he may have something more substantial when his sexual partner, Adora Carmichael, asks him to keep an eye out for a “kooky” local religion and its ruckus-causing preacher. Fitch sits in on a meeting of the Disciples of the Sacred Glow and quickly knows something is indeed wrong. Preacher Quincy Quest is actually Copernicus Janssen, an ex-dentist whom Fitch knows, from years ago, is bad news. This discovery leads to a paying client: Kathleen Brasher, whose son, Hugo, inexplicably closed the family business, and the Disciples now meet at the company’s former warehouse. But facing off against Janssen won’t be easy. The preacher also remembers Fitch and, aware of what the PI is up to, points two muscle-bound security men in his direction. But Fitch’s biggest threat is “the glow,” the DSG’s supposedly healing light that, in reality, precipitates a horrifying experience. Though the villain is immediately clear, Lester’s (Dead Clown Blues, 2017, etc.) briskly paced novella still allows for scenes of investigation. Fitch, for one, looks into an old murder that may have ties to Janssen. The baddies are unquestionably menacing and sometimes use Fitch as a punching bag; the story, however, as in the preceding installment, is predominantly humorous. Fitch’s endless wisecracks are more winsome than cynical, and the best scenes consist entirely of dialogue. Despite Adora’s status as a femme fatale having engaged in criminal activity in the past, the story’s standout character is Ellie Stevens. She’s a whip-smart teen who aids Fitch and has “the resourcefulness and the coffee habit of a 40-year-old.” 

A zealous, persistently amusing detective tale. 

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-948235-16-7

Page Count: 168

Publisher: Shotgun Honey

Review Posted Online: Feb. 10, 2020

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The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

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Four men who meet as college roommates move to New York and spend the next three decades gaining renown in their professions—as an architect, painter, actor and lawyer—and struggling with demons in their intertwined personal lives.

Yanagihara (The People in the Trees, 2013) takes the still-bold leap of writing about characters who don’t share her background; in addition to being male, JB is African-American, Malcolm has a black father and white mother, Willem is white, and “Jude’s race was undetermined”—deserted at birth, he was raised in a monastery and had an unspeakably traumatic childhood that’s revealed slowly over the course of the book. Two of them are gay, one straight and one bisexual. There isn’t a single significant female character, and for a long novel, there isn’t much plot. There aren’t even many markers of what’s happening in the outside world; Jude moves to a loft in SoHo as a young man, but we don’t see the neighborhood change from gritty artists’ enclave to glitzy tourist destination. What we get instead is an intensely interior look at the friends’ psyches and relationships, and it’s utterly enthralling. The four men think about work and creativity and success and failure; they cook for each other, compete with each other and jostle for each other’s affection. JB bases his entire artistic career on painting portraits of his friends, while Malcolm takes care of them by designing their apartments and houses. When Jude, as an adult, is adopted by his favorite Harvard law professor, his friends join him for Thanksgiving in Cambridge every year. And when Willem becomes a movie star, they all bask in his glow. Eventually, the tone darkens and the story narrows to focus on Jude as the pain of his past cuts deep into his carefully constructed life.  

The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

Pub Date: March 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-53925-8

Page Count: 720

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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Dated sermonizing on career versus motherhood, and conflict driven by characters’ willed helplessness, sap this tale of...


Lifelong, conflicted friendship of two women is the premise of Hannah’s maudlin latest (Magic Hour, 2006, etc.), again set in Washington State.

Tallulah “Tully” Hart, father unknown, is the daughter of a hippie, Cloud, who makes only intermittent appearances in her life. Tully takes refuge with the family of her “best friend forever,” Kate Mularkey, who compares herself unfavorably with Tully, in regards to looks and charisma. In college, “TullyandKate” pledge the same sorority and major in communications. Tully has a life goal for them both: They will become network TV anchorwomen. Tully lands an internship at KCPO-TV in Seattle and finagles a producing job for Kate. Kate no longer wishes to follow Tully into broadcasting and is more drawn to fiction writing, but she hesitates to tell her overbearing friend. Meanwhile a love triangle blooms at KCPO: Hard-bitten, irresistibly handsome, former war correspondent Johnny is clearly smitten with Tully. Expecting rejection, Kate keeps her infatuation with Johnny secret. When Tully lands a reporting job with a Today-like show, her career shifts into hyperdrive. Johnny and Kate had started an affair once Tully moved to Manhattan, and when Kate gets pregnant with daughter Marah, they marry. Kate is content as a stay-at-home mom, but frets about being Johnny’s second choice and about her unrealized writing ambitions. Tully becomes Seattle’s answer to Oprah. She hires Johnny, which spells riches for him and Kate. But Kate’s buttons are fully depressed by pitched battles over slutwear and curfews with teenaged Marah, who idolizes her godmother Tully. In an improbable twist, Tully invites Kate and Marah to resolve their differences on her show, only to blindside Kate by accusing her, on live TV, of overprotecting Marah. The BFFs are sundered. Tully’s latest attempt to salvage Cloud fails: The incorrigible, now geriatric hippie absconds once more. Just as Kate develops a spine, she’s given some devastating news. Will the friends reconcile before it’s too late?

Dated sermonizing on career versus motherhood, and conflict driven by characters’ willed helplessness, sap this tale of poignancy.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-312-36408-3

Page Count: 496

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2007

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