The same bizarre mixture of ingredients that has turned Kinky Friedman from a country musician into a popular mystery writer and hero of his own series continues in this exercise oddity, which, true to form, seems to contain something to offend virtually everyone. "If you spend a little time with lesbians and nuns, you begin to see the effect love or the absence of it can have on a human life," muses the Kinkster at one point. This comes after a campaign by Friedman to terrorize his upstairs neighbor, Winnie Katz, whose lesbian dance classes have caused the ceiling of his Greenwich Village loft to collapse. But Kinky's amateur terrorism pales by comparison to the mysterious person who wants to do some real damage to Winnie, so Friedman and his Village Irregulars turn from aggressors to protectors. Surrounded by Italian gangsters with names like Linguini and Gepetto, they plan a weird revenge scheme that involves such horrors as chainsaws and Friedman in a red wig.
The title--usually the best thing about a Kinkster book--has to do with which particular member of his motley crew will be officially chosen to play Watson to his Sherlock. But even here there are no clear answers: as Friedman says, "President Clinton is Watson. The Chinese dwarf who paints pastels on Mott Street is Watson. The world is Watson. Only Sherlock Holmes stands achingly alone on the weather-beaten, worm-eaten cross of rational thought. Sherlock Holmes, you see, is the thinking man's Jesus Christ."
From Publishers Weekly
Frenetic amateur PI Kinky Friedman is up to his old tricks in this campy mixture of bawdy surrealism and Tom Sawyerish pranks. Kinky's sleuthing duties have taken a decidedly sluggish turn when the roof literally comes crashing in. His upstairs neighbor, Winnie Katz, a lesbian dance instructor, has been stomping through dance routines with her students for weeks on end and all the pounding has taken its toll on Kinky's crumbling ceiling. Kinky calls in an old favor from a mob-connected friend, and suddenly finds two oafish Italian workmen at his door promising to repair the ceiling as a favor to Joey the Hyena. The Hyena is indebted to Kinky for saving his daughter from a mugger, but Kinky learns from the workmen that Joey's daughter died three years before Kinky saved her. Annoyed that his Manhattan loft is virtually under siege and by the twist in the story of the daughter, Kinky decides to divert himself by writing death threats to Winnie. In an impulsive move, Kinky takes the prank one step further by offering Winnie the services of his good friends, aka "The Village Irregulars," to ferret out the source of the threats. The five "Watsons" are no sooner ensnared in Kinky's humorous web of deceit than a real stalker appears on the scene, threatening to kill Winnie for real. All's well that ends well in this slim mystery, but the ultimate moment of truth falls flat. Hardy fans of the indomitable Friedman won't be disappointed, however, with this rollicking followup to Blast from the Past. (Sept.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.