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Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud

Every Little Crook and Nanny - Evan Hunter Rating: 3* of fiveThe Book Description: "Carmine Ganucci was a retired soft drinks magnate with a nice estate in Larchmont and influence in, well, certain circles. Which was precisely why Nanny Poole, the English governess he had hired to look after his 10 year old son, had no desire to let him know that little Lewis had been kidnapped. Since he was vacationing in Capri at the time, it wouldn't be too hard to keep him in the dark. Provided, of course, the kid returned, safe and sound, before his parents did. So she asked Benny Napkins, who used to be very big in linens and garbage, to help raise the $50,000 ransom...a search that sets off the funniest and most unlikely chain of events since the mob went "respectable". Evan Hunter conducts a merry romp through the labyrinth of disorganized crime with some of the funniest characters you can ever imagine." -- Judy Smith, via Amazon.comMy Review: Screwball, zany, madcap...all those 1930s words we don't use anymore (and what a shame that is!) are perfect for this book. It oughta be a movie! (Ignore the 1972 filmed version, it's flaccid and drear.) What makes this extra-special fun to read is that the book's by Evan Hunter, aka Ed McBain the grimmeister von 87th Precinct-platz! It's not obvious while reading the book that it was created by the same mind that makes the tender-souled among us wince and cringe with the violence of the procedurals.I can't give it more than three stars, however, because it's pretty thin stuff. It's not well developed as a caper, and it's got pretty stock characters. But listen, if you were expecting War and Peace then it's you that got off the bus at the wrong stop. This is Entertainmentville, not Snoburbia.So, to read or not to read, that is the question. Do you need to chuckle for a few hours? Are you interested in the fish-out-of-water plot? Do you like stories where Right doesn't equal goody-goody? Here ya go. Dessert is served.