The Chairman's Toys
by Graham Reed
on Tour August 1-31, 2018
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 a pair of secret agents from China 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 the 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
I enjoyed this quirky mystery as it wandered through the dark side of Vancouver, BC. Jake is definitely a deeply flawed hero but one I liked. He is the epitome of so many today, unsure how to live a productive life. Having given up growing marijuana, he checks on the houses of wealthy but absent owners. He can't even get that right. He is loyal to his friends, however, even if he keeps getting them into trouble. It was a bit humorous how Jake bumbled his way through to solving a murder.
I appreciated the setting of Vancouver, BC. I knew the Chinese had been buying properties in the city over the last decades. This novel gives a good view of Chinese influence in the city.
I like Reed's writing style. He has a way of painting a scene with words. For example, “He showed me a grin like a rusty saw blade.” I could just see it!
I recommend this novel to readers who enjoy a quirky mystery with a flawed hero and a gaggle of supporting people. Jake is the kind of guy that makes me want to know what adventure he is going to get into next.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Book Details:Genre: Crime Fiction, Mystery, Humor
Published by: Poisoned Pen Press
Publication Date: July 3, 2018
Number of Pages: 238
ISBN: 1464210055 (ISBN13: 9781464210051)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads | IndieBound
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I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours.