Monday, September 18

Monkey Man by Steve Brewer

Review by Gloria Feit

"Nothing interrupts a nice chat like the arrival of a gorilla" the opening line of Monkey Man and an indication of the slightly whacky and offbeat [in a good way, mind you] novel to follow. The circumstances of the "chat" in question? A meeting in a café between Bubba Mabry, of Bubba Mabry Investigations, with a potential client seeking to hire him with regard to suspected malfeasance leading to the death of an inordinately large number of animals of the zoo in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he is employed. (The suspected plot kinda gives "endangered species" a whole new meaning.) But the meeting is interrupted when the aforementioned man in the gorilla suit pulls a gun and shoots the whistleblower dead.

Having decided he has no further obligation in the matter, Bubba is forced to change his mind when the dead man's fiancee hires Bubba to investigate, reasoning that if they find out what secret‚s being covered up, they'll find out who the killer is. Despite his reluctance, Bubba agrees, and that resolve is only bolstered when, shortly thereafter, someone else who had just been speaking to Bubba is killed - Bubba, feeling guilty, becomes determined to find the perp, if only for his own peace of mind, all coercion and threats if he pursues that course notwithstanding.

Bubba, who is self-described as suffering from "genetic gullibility", nonetheless asks enough questions of enough people to flush out the culprit[s]. Along the way he gives the reader a fast and enjoyable read. Monkey Man is the latest in the Bubba Mabry series, one I'm glad to have been introduced to.

Steve Brewer is also the author of the Drew Gavin series, in addition to the recent standalone Whipsaw, much enjoyed by this reviewer.

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