Saturday, April 28, 2012
BOOK REVIEW: "The Huckleberry Murders"
By Patrick F. McManus
Simon & Schuster
As you well know if you follow this blog at all, I am not a huge fan of mysteries, murders or anything involving too much death or intrique. However, I saw this little gem on the shelf in my library and was reminded of a time, many MANY years ago when I spent hours and hours poring over humorous essays in order to choose one to deliver at a state forensics competition (Humorous Speech was not my normal category, so it was a little daunting!)
Although I finally settled on "Getting Sex Out of Schools and Back in the Gutter Where it Belongs" by Erma Bombeck (mostly for the shock value), I do recall several McManus essays being good options. Not only that, but my father makes THE BEST huckleberry pie ever made, so there was all sorts of nostalgia written on this book. And it did not disappoint.
The story revolves around playboy sheriff Bo Tully as he monitors the activities of his constituents in Blight County, Idaho. Well, that is, when he's not trying to woo the ladies. Sheriff Tully has a certain reputation around Blight County and doesn't do much to change his image. When a Mrs. Poulson complains that her ex-husband is missing and that she thinks the tenant killed him, Tully gets to work. Tully's mom tells him to talk to a psychic to find out where the body is, but Tully doesn't hold much stock in that. Then Tully decides to take a break from his detectiving to go pick some huckleberries for his mom, where he makes a gruesome discovery of three bodies with bullets in the back of their heads. And the mystery deepens.
With funny little one-liners and prose worthy of any Sherlock Holmes tale, this one is a fun read. The story is so silly that at times you will laugh out loud, but the next moment you just want to know who dunnit, which keeps you turning that page. I enjoyed this one very much!
(And don't mock me too much for admitting being a debate geek. It is a rare day when I lose an argument....just ask my husband.)