cover image Frequent Flyer

Frequent Flyer

Kinky Friedman. William Morrow & Company, $16.95 (186pp) ISBN 978-0-688-08166-9

Friedman's novels ( A Case of Lone Star ) are presumably an acquired taste. His fourth once again features as central character a country singer turned amateur detective, named after himself; other characters in the story are also modeled after people Friedman knows. The style is marked by constant wisecracks, strained metaphors and decidedly offbeat slang. In Cleveland for the funeral of an old Peace Corps buddy, John Morgan, Kinky is nonplussed to note that the body in the casket is in fact not that of his former friend. He is further perplexed when none of the 300 guests, including Morgan's parents, seem to notice. Back home in New York's Greenwich Village, he hears from a woman who says she is Morgan's fiancee, and soon Friedman finds himself the target of an unrepentant band of Nazis and otherwise entangled in events beyond his ken. All is eventually resolved (sort of), but nothing is quite as funny as intended. (Aug.)