The Surreal Killer

The Surreal Killer
Machu Picchu. Peru

Sunday, December 8, 2013


            A very nice review of my newest book by a popular blogger just appeared.   Kathryn Svendsen, in her blog “Shelf Full of Books”, reviewed “Five Quickies for Roger and Suzanne”. 
She gave this anthology a rating of 4 stars.

            “This is an anthology of 5 stories of shorter length from novelette length to short story. Each one is about Roger Bowman, a private detective, who once was a patent lawyer and a police detective. The first of the five stories The Empanada Affair takes places in Argentina. Three of the stories take place in Los Angeles and the fifth story “The Haunted Gymnasium” takes place in Fortaleza, Brazil. Most of the stories have some kind of connection to South America
             The stories were all interesting in the Jerrold Last solved the cases in each one. They kind of reminded me of Perry Mason where you follow the detective around and collect the clues with him. Then at the end, he is able to announce the perpetrator of the crime, and then explains how he figured it out.

Of the five stories, the The Empanada Affair was my least favourite. I believe this was one of Mr. Last’s first novellas, and it shows. I thought this novel read somewhat like a travel guide as there were long stretches of narrative that described the city and the history of the place as well as the tourist attractions. These things didn’t really have anything to do with the story.

My favourite story was The Dog with No Name in which Roger Bowman’s first client was a dog that walked into his office and led him to his owner’s home. Bowman had to break into the owner’s home where he found the owner unconscious on the floor.

This story was written out of sequence with the other Roger and Suzanne mysteries, but that aside, it is a lovely story that Roger tells to his son’s kindergarten class.  If you love dogs, you will definitely like this story.

Someone Did It to the Butler and The Body in the Parking Structure are well-written who-dunnit mysteries. I tried to guess who the guilty person was before Roger solved the case and I wasn’t able to, but once he explained his reasoning, it made perfect sense.

         The Haunted Gymnasium will intrigue you if you like ghost stories. This one is filled with martial arts.

These stories were a lot of fun to read. It was nice to get to know the characters better through several stories. The language is clean in each of these stories, there is no explicit sex, however, there is a gay male nanny (just so you aren’t surprised)."

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