THE CHAIRMAN’S TOYS by Graham Reed
Genre: Crime Fiction, Mystery, Humor
Published by: Poisoned Pen Press
Publication Date: July 3, 2018
Number of Pages: 238
Review Copy from: Author
My Rating: 4
Synopsis (via GR)
Vancouver, British Columbia – land of psychotically expensive real estate, high-grade cannabis, and Jake Constable. A man adrift.
After Jake quits the drug business, his realtor/ex-wife, Nina, gets him a job as a house sitter for her wealthy clients. Jake celebrates by throwing a party in the mansion he was hired to look after. Unfortunately, the guest list gets out of hand, leaving Jake to contend with a hallucinogenic-vitamin-dispensing yogi, a dead guy in the bathroom, and The Norwegian – a criminal force of nature with a grudge against Jake.
When the owner of the multimillion-dollar crime scene returns home prematurely, only Jake’s inadvertent discovery of the man’s politically incorrect business history saves him from having to clean up after the party. But he still has to come clean with his ex-wife. The situation threatens to turn into an international incident when Nina’s power broker uncle and some Chinese government agents show up to turn the screws on Jake. Soon after that his friends start disappearing. With the Chinese government leaning on him and The Norwegian out to settle an old score, Jake comes up with a desperate plan to dupe a pair of secret agents, save his friends, and (why not?) solve the murder.
“…takes the reader on a fast, furious, and often hilarious tour. Watching him zigzag through the twisting plot is pure pleasure.” – Publisher’s Weekly
“Reed’s lively mystery debut may be overloaded with colorful characters and tricky subplots, but too much of a good thing is still a good thing.” – Kirkus Reviews
“…definitely belongs on your short list of amiable stoner sleuths, along with Bart Schneider’s Augie Boyer and Hal Ackerman’s Harry Stein. The dark-comedy aspect of this debut will also appeal to fans of Chris Knopf, David Freed, and Tim Cockey.” – Booklist
After reading the synopsis and editorial reviews, this book piqued my curiosity, and am so glad it did!
Jake Constable, former drug dealer and now house sitter to the rich, makes an unfortunate decision. He decides to throw a large party at the house he is tending to. What could go wrong? A bit of a mess? No problem, his friends Richard and Dante have a custodial cleaning business. Until Richard, who is at the party, texts him that “there’s a dead guy in the bathroom :(“. And no one knows who he is.
As Jake, Dante and Richard try to figure this mess out, Dante and Richard are kidnapped. And Jake finds himself involved with both some very unsavory men and government representatives of China.
Along with humor, the suspense of this debut novel was exciting to the very end. The cast of characters outlandish and sometimes comical. Impressive writing and storyline. I will be looking for more work by this author.
This indeed was an entertaining read!
**Stop by tomorrow for Q&A with Graham Reed**
This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Graham Reed. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on August 1, 2018 and runs through September 1, 2018. Void where prohibited.
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