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I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Vic Boyo, Doofus Detective in: Double Murders are Twice as Bad by Milo James Fowler
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform Genres: Mystery, Suspense
Source: the author
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Two murders. One detective. Half a brain.
1931, New York City: Detective Vic Boyo may not be the brightest bulb in the chandelier, but that doesn't stop him from solving cases as only he can. With a little luck and a whole lot of gumption, Boyo sets out to find the murderer of a local cop. Problem is, Boyo's more interested in a gorgeous femme fatale accused of killing her husband. She's destined for the electric chair, but Boyo's got a hunch she might be innocent. And nobody gets in the way of Boyo's hunches, not even Vic Boyo himself.
I have not audibly laughed while reading a book in a very long time until I read Vic Boyo, Doofus Detective! I also caught myself rolling my eyes at one point which is great because I generally don’t have such physical reactions to books! It’s a fun spoofy detective tale in a 1930’s New York noir setting. The author has crafted a light and silly read from a dark and sinister plot which is quite a feat.
As the protagonist, Vic Boyo is a lovable buffoon with an ego larger than the thugs he faces. He sees himself as a cunning detective rivaling Sherlock Holmes himself, but in reality he stumbles through a case that he wasn’t assigned to in the first place. In addition to Vic, I enjoyed the character of his ever loyal secretary Miss Oglethorpe. It’s a mystery to me why he requires a secretary at all making her apparent busyness all the more comical. As the object of Vic Boyo’s affection, Maria Merryface fits into the beautiful femme fatal role. She doesn’t seem thrilled about once she sees Vic’s incompetence. The plot swirls around her and the fact that she’s been accused of her husband’s murder but Boyo knows in his … gut … that she didn’t do it.
Then we have a gaggle of gangsters and cops to round things out. None of whom blatantly stood out to me as amazing characters but certainly added to the hilarity and movement of the plot. Add in a smart-alec kid who ends up helping things along and you’ve got yourself a good time!
I could close my eyes and picture the grey, dreary streets of 1930’s New York City which is either a testament to Fowler’s writing or it means that I’m too into the gritty film noir scene. Could be either, really. From the atmosphere of the city, to the accents and speech, I was fully immersed. The streets, speakeasys, and warehouses were almost a character in themselves.
My biggest complaint is that it wasn’t long enough! Vic Boyo is such a fun character and I would love to read more of his exploits as I think it would make for a great series. When I read this, I had been on a self-improvement book kick so this was a welcome change of pace.