A Rex Koko, Private Clown Mystery – Book 1
“Great book! This is Raymond Chandler meets Barnum & Bailey. It’s as entertaining as a car-load of clowns. Or more specifically, a car-load of tough-talking, poker-playing, metaphor-spewing clowns.’
— A.J. Jacobs, The Know-It-All, My Life as an Experiment
“Wonderful! Like Raymond Chandler before him, Garner explores the seedy underbelly of show business. And it’s a world populated by kinkers, joeys, flatties, ginks, bips, midgets and fat ladies.’
— Matt Walsh, Veep, Upright Citizens Brigade
2011 Book of the Year, Chicago Writers Association!
In Top Town, a ghetto full of washed-up circus lifers in the shadow of a big city, audiences come every night for cheap thrills, both wholesome and not. Fire eaters perform for gin money. Gypsies reveal the future (and for a sawbuck can make it happen). Daredevils cheat Death time after time, but once. And witness to it all is one of the most loved and notorious figures in Top Town, a tough joey with a deadly past and a nose for picking all the wrong fights: Rex Koko, private clown.
In Honk Honk, My Darling, Rex is hired by an aging, arrogant trapeze star to bring back his wayward wife. Every time Rex comes close to finding her, however, other aerialists come to gruesome and spectacular ends.
Is Addie Carlozo a “black widow”? Is Rex really cursed with bad luck? Why is he being followed by those red-headed roustabout bastards, the Redd Brothers? And will “circus justice” intervene before the police do? Revenge, corruption and murder headline the bill in Top Town, where life comes 3 balls for a nickel. Babes, bullets, banana peels!
As e. e. cummings said, “Damn everything, but the circus!”
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