Sunday, March 3, 2013
Detective: Parnell Hall
Stanley Hastings is a private detective, but really he has never done any detecting. Nor does he have any confidence in his ability to do so. What he does is pursue leads for an ambulance chaser lawyer.
So, when he is offered a real job, by a guy in trouble with drug dealers, he turns him down. And then, he inevitably gets involved in the case.
This is the second private detective novel I have read in a row, and both had humorous elements. This one is definitely intended to be funny. I enjoyed Detective more for the story and Stanley's character. It is told in first person, which I like. Stanley has a lot of good luck, but he also has a lot more skill than he realizes.
Based on the bio at Mystery Writers of America, Parnell Hall is a versatile and interesting person. In addition to writing books and screenplays, he is an actor, and he has been a private detective.
At Mystery Fanfare, there is a video he put together which is very entertaining.
I would never had read this book if my husband had not discovered the series. Parnell Hall also writes the Puzzle Lady series, and my assumption was that I was not going to like anything he wrote. There, I have revealed my biases. I avoid cozy mystery series with a theme. This has caused me to miss good series (well, at least one) in the past and I should know better, but that bias is still there. (So if anyone has some suggestions for good, well-written cozy series with a theme that I may have mistakenly missed out on, please let me know.)
He discovered the book via the Kindle app, and that is a plus for buying an e-reader. I still am not really comfortable reading in e-format, but we sure have found a lot of new and old authors that way. He liked the book so much he bought a reasonably-priced hardcover edition, and also a hardcover of the second novel in the series, so you can see the Kindle is not keeping us from buying books.
Would I recommend this book? Yes, with caveats. If you like light, humorous books and you don't mind strong language and somewhat graphic violence. There is not a lot of violence taking place on the page, but some of the crimes are unappealing. We are dealing with particularly vicious drug dealers here.
Will I read more of this series? Again, yes, with caveats. From reviews and descriptions of the books that I have read, I get the impression that Stanley doesn't change much over the series. I generally prefer growth and / or change in a series. I will definitely pursue this series, but if there is a lot of sameness to each story, I will put some time between each one. Which is fine, I have a lot of books to read.