Pulitzer Prize nominee and author of The Feud, Thomas Berger displays his genre bending prowess once more in this mystery turned comedy, featuring unforgettable dialogue and an extremely fun cast of characters.
“Berger’s style, which is one of the great pleasures of the book, is something like S.J. Perelman’s—educated, complicated, graceful, silly, destructive in spirit and brilliant.” —Leonard Michaels, New York Times Book Review
Russel Wren is a man of big words, only trapped in a small living space.
An unlicensed private eye with an equally unlicensed handgun, Russel’s one big case away from becoming a household name and being able to pay his rent. Until then, our loquacious hero is content with blending his work life with his home life—mostly by living in his office.
Or, he was content, until a huge man looking for a Teddy Villanova arrived not just to threaten Russel and pummel him senseless, but to mysteriously reappear as a corpse mere hours later. To make matters more complicated, Russel finds a letter addressed to Teddy Villanova from a man named Donald Washburn II posing a threat to Villanova as serious as the beating Russel endured on his behalf.
When the police who finally arrive to investigate the corpse in Russel’s office instead threaten to pin the murder on him and offer him his second beating of the day, Russel is certain of two things: First, that those are not real cops and second: someone, somewhere, has made a horrible mistake. Russel doesn’t just dive into this mystery to save his own life, but to fulfill his far-off dream of living on more than instant noodles.