Yup you guessed it another book review! There is so much good stuff coming out this fall I can’t contain my reviews to just once a month.
Don’t forget about my other penny dreadful mystery blog – Finder of Lost Things! Phoebe gets her second ever job and an invitation!
Edgar Cantero – This Body’s Not Big Enough For Both Of Us
How long does it take to learn Spanish? Seriously. A couple of years?
Why am I keen on learning a second language? I need to become absolutely fluent because if Cantero’s Spanish language books are half as zany, unconventional, inexplicable and hilarious as their English counterparts I need to have the language down pat.
If you can’t tell I am a huge fan of this man’s writing.
One reason? He takes traditional mystery tropes and turns them on their heads. Meddling Kids (his second English Language book) takes a group of young sleuths (who bear a striking resemblance to the Scooby Doo gang) and tells the story of what happens to them after their last extraordinary and unsettling case.
In This Body’s Not Big Enough For The Both Of Us, he takes a multitude of noir & mystery themes and adds his unique twist to them. Like our detective – A.Z. Kimrean – a brother & sister, twins, who didn’t completely split from each other in the womb – so they occupy the same body and have very different thoughts on how to execute their cases.
And let me tell you their very divergent styles make this book move at lightning speed! This adventure finds them called in by the L.A.P.D to help investigate the murder of a crime boss’s son, stop a gangland war and safely extract an undercover detective while dodging thugs, a ninja, and requests by femme fatals…
Now here’s one thing you need to know when you start the book – I think Cantero took Elmore Leonard’s Rules for Writers as a challenge and set out to break every one of them while writing the prologue(he also left Raymond Chandler’s set in tatters as well).
This piece of trivia is important to know, so you can fully appreciate it (looking up Leonard’s ten rules of writing also helps).
Don’t make my mistake! I didn’t bother reading the flyleaves, I just read the author’s name and thrust my money into the cashier’s hand and ran out of the store to start the book. Which left me a bit confused while reading the opening – so I’m trying to help you all out! (The rest of the book follows a much more sequential order to events, so don’t worry.)
This above is not a criticism of the book – it’s just a helpful hint.
This book is well written and surprisingly dense given the irreverent nature of it and stands up to multiple rereadings. Because there is so much going on and so many layers written into the story you get something new out of the mystery each time. I absolutely loved this book, and if you enjoy a twisted sense of humor and the warping classic mystery motifs, you’ll love this book. (BTW there isn’t any magic, fantasy or alternate realities at play here – A. Z. Kimrean’s condition is based in science, not science fiction – I promise)