Cover image for Drop dead, my lovely
Title:
Drop dead, my lovely
Author:
Weiner, Ellis.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : New American Library, [2004]

©2004
Physical Description:
277 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Language:
English
Geographic Term:
ISBN:
9780451211170
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

From Ellis Weiner, contributor to legendary humor publications National Lampoonand Spyas well as the New York Times, The New Yorker, and many more, comes a debut novel that's drop dead funny... For Pete Ingalls, being a P.I. means walking the streets, wearing a fedora, and solving crimes. So, far he's got the first two of those down. Not bad for a mild-mannered bookstore clerk who got hit in the head with a ruthless stack of hardcovers, only to wake up in a daze of outdated wisecracks, tough talk, and no recollection of his former life. Now, with a hard-boiled attitude and a thoroughly scrambled brain, Ingalls decides to open his own detective agency. He hires a mouthy dame as his secretary and the damsels in distress start showing up. Soon Pete's tracking down all sorts of shadowy characters-not to mention a real live dead body-with nothing to go on but a healthy dose of delusion behind his squinting eyes. And he's making a holy mess of everything...


Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

In his satiric first novel, humorist Weiner (The Joy of Worry) pokes fun at the private eye genre with mixed results. When Pete Ingalls comes to after being knocked unconscious by a pile of books in a Manhattan bookstore, he remembers only the hard-boiled detective novels he's read. He rents an office, dresses in 1940s-style clothing and hires small-time actress Stephanie Constantino to be his secretary. Mysterious, elusive Celeste Vroman asks him to find her missing married lover, attorney Jeffrey Litman. A second client, Catherine Flonger, wants Ingalls to discover if her husband, a famous TV news anchor, is seeing another woman. Blundering, na?ve and inept, Ingalls nonetheless easily locates Litman, who confesses he's spurned Celeste for "class skirt" Olivia Cartwright, whose strangled body turns up in a seedy hotel room in the "prologue" that falls between chapters one and two. Mrs. Flonger makes finding her husband almost too easy. Breezy, often funny, this uneven book is rife with silly puns. When Stephanie tells Ingalls she's playing Viola in Twelfth Night, he quips, "Playing the fiddle while you're acting?" But there's some good writing, too: one character "had the pale, smooth skin of a man who went outside principally to hail cabs." Weiner clearly owes a debt to P.G. Wodehouse (a passage from The Code of the Woosters serves as an epigraph), but here he lacks the British master's sure comic touch. (Mar. 2) Forecast: A former Spy columnist, National Lampoon editor, and New Yorker and Paris Review contributor, Weiner is well positioned to promote this novel to his fans. A blurb from Robert B. Parker will help persuade mystery readers who normally avoid broad humor to give it a try. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved