Friday, July 1, 2011

Some Like It Hot-Buttered by Jeffrey Cohen

Plot: The man didn't laugh at the Blind Man scene in Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein. That's when Elliot Freed, owner of the struggling Comedy Tonight move theater, started thinking something was wrong. He was dead right. Keyword being "dead". One investigation later, the police discover that the man had been killed by poisoned popcorn. Elliot hops on his bike to find the killer, hoping a murder won't hurt his meager ticket sales and bringing humor to the somber atmosphere of the ongoing investigation.

First Line: "The guy in row S, seat 18, was dead, all right."

Comments: This is the funniest murder mystery I have ever read. Elliot Freed uses sarcasm, dry humor, one-liners - anything he can do to make you laugh. And he does. This is a giggle-out-loud book all the way. Even at suspenseful moments, Elliot's witty narration diffuses the tension. That certainly annoys several of the deadpan, serious police officers, but though they attempt to shoo Elliot away, he insists on persevering. Elliot is definitely an interesting character.

I loved the detailed, easily imaginable characters in this story. Sophie, the theater's cashier, while perhaps an excessively stereotypical teenage girl, is simple and one-dimensional but an important piece of the story. Chief Dutton is the law looming overhead but has a friendly, reasonable personality that contradicts common perceptions and adds yet more intrigue to the twists of the plot. And Elliot himself is simply spectacular.

I fervently hope there are (or will be) more Elliot Freed novels, though I suppose the chances of a movie theater owner encountering yet another murder are a little slim. This book was hilarious and complex.

Rating: I rate this book a ten out of ten.

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