- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (March 3, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312388616
- ISBN-13: 978-0312388614
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 13 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,265,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Feelers Hardcover – March 3, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Officially, Morty Martinez cleans out the houses of dead people in this highly amusing mystery from Lefty Award–winner Wiprud (Pipsqueak). Actually, as Morty explains in his charming if egotistical voice, he's a feeler who searches for the money that senior citizens tend to stash around their homes. Morty's overjoyed to find $800,000 on one job in Brooklyn, until the discovery attracts the covetous attention of other feelers and a greedy ex-cop who believes the cash is part of the hidden loot from an armored car heist. Meanwhile, one of the armored car robbers comes looking for the money after being released from prison, where he became a hair-trigger killer with an ice pick. Challenged to stay alive while hanging onto his prize, Morty prepares for a luxurious retirement in Mexico, where he looks forward to a new career as a Latin lover. That readers know Morty survives his various travails doesn't lessen the suspense as he faces one catastrophe after another. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Morty Martinez is a “feeler”; he empties homes in Brooklyn for resale and hopes to find stashes of cash left by deceased occupants who didn’t trust banks. He also lives in hope that a big find will allow him to assume “his birthright,” a hacienda in Baja California befitting his conquistador ancestry. When a job presents him with an $840,000 windfall, he quickly learns that a recently released Sing Sing prisoner, a retired cop, a devious and clever hairdresser, and a rival feeler are all after the same score. Actually, it’s more complicated than that, and Wiprud uses a lengthy letter Morty writes to a Mexican priest to tell his story. This epistolary form works well and allows the author to endow Morty with occasional Runyonesque speeches, bring a dozen quirky characters to life, and paint a vivid portrait of life in East Brooklyn. Although the body count rises steadily, this is a rollicking, high-energy tale that recalls Donald Westlake’s comic caper novels. --Thomas Gaughan
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Morty makes his money as a feeler. Basically he buys the rights to a deceased estate's possessions where he can dispose of the furniture and other items in a dwelling however he likes. He has a particular skill of picking up the vibe of when there are tight ones. Tight ones are usually planter nut tins that old people hide their life savings in, usually hidden under a couch. Which is where Morty discovers 32 tight ones which amount to $800 000. Now Morty's dream of moving to Mexico is pretty much secure, all he has to do is wait for the real estate agents to find the house. However he also knows the day workers he hired will have loose tongues and there are those in the industry whose jealousy and friendship will not stretch to ignoring that windfall.
Throw in Danny Kessell a polite young man who just spent 15 years as the sole survivor of five million dollar armed robbery where the loot was never recovered. He is unaware the house where he hid the money has been "felt". Danny will use the skills of ice pick handling he perfected as a prison assassin to get it back, and Morty has a few hurdles if wants to eventually live his dream life in Mexico.
A very good book, I'll definitly check out more of Wiprud's work.
In Brooklyn, Morty is euphoric to find $800,000 lying around while he cleaned the house. However, his find comes to the attention of his peers who want more than just a cut; the information also reaches an angry former cop who believes the loot in Brooklyn belongs to him as he believes it is part of an armored car robbery. Finally, one of the thieves who has just left prison having gained the useful skill of an ice pick killer and he wants his money; Morty better give it to him or risk a flash temper stabbing. Everyone targets Morty who thinks he can become the gringo lover of Mexican senoritas if he can escape from New York in one piece.
This is an enjoyable suspense thriller mindful of It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World as everyone seemingly in the Big Apple wants a bite out of the anti-hero's butt. The story line is fast-paced once Morty finds the loot and even faster is the underground gossip network. Brian M. Wiprud provides the audience with a terrific tale in which Morty may be dreaming of senoritas, but he can't safely get to New Jersey.
-- Publisher's Weekly *STARRED REVIEW*
"A guy who cleans out dead people's houses turns up $800,000 worth of trouble. Those in the know call Morty Martinez one of the best feelers in Brooklyn. He has a nose for which houses are most likely to conceal unsuspected valuables that his home content removal service can then vacuum into his savings account. It's all perfectly legal, but that's not much reassurance to Morty when he finds a flock of coffee cans packed with U.S. currency while he's cleaning out the Trux home on Vanderhoosen Drive. No sooner has Morty squirreled the cash away in a self-storage locker than he's besieged by competitors who'd like the money even more than he would. There's professional rival Pete the Prick and his enforcers, the fearsome Balkan Boys. There's mannerly Danny Kessel, who after 15 years in prison for his role in an armored car heist kills a man with an icepick his first day out. There's retired Brooklyn cop Charlie Binder, who's had an eye cocked for the $5 million snatched from that armored car ever since Danny went down. Morty's also besieged by a shapely hairdresser named Fanny, but she may just be after his body--which is what he's going to end up as if he doesn't find some way to distract his pursuers, for instance by getting them to pursue each other instead of him. Wiprud (Tailed, 2007, etc.) switches his point of view so often and suddenly that you'll risk whiplash. But you'll gasp with laughter and surprise all the way to the hospital."
-- Kirkus Reviews
"Although the body count rises steadily, this is a rollicking, high-energy tale that recalls Donald Westlake's comic caper novels."
-- Thomas Gaughan, Booklist
An epistolary novel can be slow moving and boring, but those would be the last words to describe Wiprud's book. The action never stops, and laugh-out-loud-funny scenes combine with a sympathetic hero who's a blind romantic like his late father. Secondary characters are vividly drawn, as is the Brooklyn that is Wiprud's setting. "Brilliant" and "funny" are the only words to describe this.--- Page Traynor, Romantic Times Magazine
"This is not only humorous and hard-boiled but thrilling and full throttle as well. Wiprud and the brilliant characters he has created are welcome on my bookshelf at any time."
-- Crooked Magazine