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Gumshoe on the Loose

Review

Gumshoe on the Loose

Following GUMSHOE FOR TWO, “Mort Angel, gumshoe extraordinaire and media darling, was about to get another round of national exposure on prime-time news.” He’s “back in the thick of it,” when seductress Danya lures the maverick investigator to discern who has been prowling around her house.

Danya is “[b]eautiful, busty, slinky, trouble.” She’s also the black lovechild of Reno PD detective Russell Fairchild, who’s “as ugly and white as Buddy Hackett’s ghost.” Yeah, that cop who wants to bust Mort’s chops. Or, stated more licentiously, two other body parts my Bookreporter editor won’t let me specify. Danya is married to Shanna Hayes, who “had a figure that would stop traffic.” Celeb Shanna is also the focus of Vince Ignacio, an aggressive hack for Celebrity News, who skulks around Shanna’s house trying to find a connection to Jo-X.

"Anyone searching for a bawdy go-to gumshoe tale need look no further than Rob Leininger’s Mortimer Angel series."

Jonnie Xenon (Jo-X, pronounced Jo-Z, whose “rapper lyrics which were as toxic as a cloud of powdered plutonium”) is “six-five, 164 pounds, looked like a two-by-four with limbs, and [had] a mouth so foul Clorox wouldn’t get the stench out.” Vince finds that connection hanging around the garage. And the stench is not from Jo-X’s mouth.

“Maude Clary was a battle-axe,” now Mort’s boss. “Ma” is bound for Memphis by train, and won’t have an en-route cell phone connection. She instructs Mort not to do anything without calling her first. What could possibly go wrong?

Mort encounters Lucy K. (which morphs easily to “Lucky”) Landry in a Nevada dive-in diner serving fried chicken and fries, “The Heart Buster Special.” After a witty and ribald exchange, Lucy --- who appears to be post-pubescent jailbait but is confirmed 11 years younger than Mort’s 42 --- and he are on the road to Las Vegas, where Lucy proves, indeed, to be lucky. After a few thousand-dollar chip losses at roulette, Lucky Luce bets it all on double zero and defies the maxim that the house always wins. The madcap couple gets a deluxe Luxor suite comped, and the winnings pile up.

But Mort is paid to track down Jo-X’s killer, locate the now-missing Dayna, and keep Detective Fairchild out of the spotlight. Jo-X’s mansion is near Vegas, but police have combed through it finding no leads. With Mort and a busty bombshell tooling around in a Mustang convertible looking for a killer, it’s not Vegas-style gambling to bet that things get dicey. Especially when bad luck turns out to be good fortune, in a convoluted way.

Anyone searching for a bawdy go-to gumshoe tale need look no further than Rob Leininger’s Mortimer Angel series. If you’re unfamiliar with these laugh-riot Gumshoe installments, get a character crash course by reading 2015’s GUMSHOE debut.

Reviewed by L. Dean Murphy on April 6, 2018

Gumshoe on the Loose
by Rob Leininger

  • Publication Date: April 3, 2018
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Oceanview Publishing
  • ISBN-10: 1608092747
  • ISBN-13: 9781608092741