by Patrick Hasburgh
Category: Fiction / Mystery
0 pages; ISBN: 0312331835
Rating: 10/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
Dunne, Dec 2004, $23.95, 256 pp.
Former TV writer Jake Wheeler was a big success in Hollywood scripting some very popular shows, but he lost his lofty standing and his wealth to what he felt was the two “A”s: age and alcohol while the community dropped him for a string of flops. Jake returned to his hometown of Aspen struggling to make a living while drinking diet coke with sugar to overcome the “Stolichnaya Flu”.
Long time friend Chief of Police Rick Rankin offers Jake work as a private sleuth. Laura Keller (whose surname is now some cereal company) needs a detective to find her missing seventeen years old stepdaughter Tinker “Bell” Mellon while her spouse (Tinker’s genetic dad) is spending the season in Alabama watching football. Seeing easy money, Jake visits Laura who has tasted every male’s Jimmy except his. Using Jim Rockford (rather than Mr. T) as a mentor, Jake investigates. Except for the aid of Winston (the dog) and in spite of his intimate knowledge of Rockford, Jake fumbles the ball time after time.
Readers who appreciate hours of laugher from the asides, self deprecations, puns, and buddy shots will want to read ASPEN PULP, a private investigative tale that feels more like Inspector Clouseau, Rocky Mountain amateur sleuth. Though played for laughs, the Jake is a complete person holding the plot together even when he’d rather have a “Virgin” than a “Bloody Mary”. Though totally irreverent, the story line is cleverly designed so that the twists and turns down Aspen Mountain add depth while the secondary cast provides insight into the Rockford wannabe or the avalanched working class. Patrick Hasburgh opens his new series with a gold medal grand slalom run.
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