Road Kill

Kinky Friedman, Author
Kinky Friedman, Author Simon & Schuster $22.5 (256p) ISBN 978-0-684-80378-4
Reviewed on: 12/01/1970
Release date: 12/01/1941
Even loyal fans will probably find this 10th book (after last year's The Love Song of J. Edgar Hoover) in country singer Friedman's series about a cat-loving, cigar-devouring New York City amateur detective named Kinky Friedman unsatisfying. New readers will most likely come away baffled and annoyed. The trouble starts early, as the Kinkster, after reflecting on how badly his work and social life have been faring of late, sees in his bathroom mirror a version of himself that he decides to call the Gypsy: ""The face was almost mine but the eyes seemed different.... His hair was not a Hebrew natural like my own: he wore it long and dark and shiny and all wrapped up in a bright red sash."" Worried about his mental health, Friedman's collection of friends, known as the Village Irregulars, throw a surprise party in his apartment. The plot doesn't begin until nearly a quarter of the way into the book when famed country singer Willie Nelson--who just might be the Gypsy's progenitor--asks for Kinky's help in a tangled but not credible or compelling case involving a dead Native American medicine man. As in all of Friedman's mysteries, there's lots of drinking, smoking, mayhem, aimless chatter and country music. The occasional charms of a real musician writing about some real people he obviously knows and admires don't redeem this uninspired performance. (Sept.)
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