Spanking Watson

Kinky Friedman, Author Simon & Schuster $23 (224p) ISBN 978-0-684-85061-0
Frenetic amateur PI Kinky Friedman is up to his old tricks in this campy mixture of bawdy surrealism and Tom Sawyerish pranks. Kinky's sleuthing duties have taken a decidedly sluggish turn when the roof literally comes crashing in. His upstairs neighbor, Winnie Katz, a lesbian dance instructor, has been stomping through dance routines with her students for weeks on end and all the pounding has taken its toll on Kinky's crumbling ceiling. Kinky calls in an old favor from a mob-connected friend, and suddenly finds two oafish Italian workmen at his door promising to repair the ceiling as a favor to Joey the Hyena. The Hyena is indebted to Kinky for saving his daughter from a mugger, but Kinky learns from the workmen that Joey's daughter died three years before Kinky saved her. Annoyed that his Manhattan loft is virtually under siege and by the twist in the story of the daughter, Kinky decides to divert himself by writing death threats to Winnie. In an impulsive move, Kinky takes the prank one step further by offering Winnie the services of his good friends, aka ""The Village Irregulars,"" to ferret out the source of the threats. The five ""Watsons"" are no sooner ensnared in Kinky's humorous web of deceit than a real stalker appears on the scene, threatening to kill Winnie for real. All's well that ends well in this slim mystery, but the ultimate moment of truth falls flat. Hardy fans of the indomitable Friedman won't be disappointed, however, with this rollicking followup to Blast from the Past. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/30/1999
Release date: 09/01/1999
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