cover image Deadly Campaign: 
A Last Laff Mystery

Deadly Campaign: A Last Laff Mystery

Alan Orloff. Midnight Ink (, $14.95 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-0-7387-2318-1

Orloff’s second whodunit starring standup comic Channing Hayes, part-owner of the Last Laff Comedy Club in northern Virginia, fails to deliver on the promise of his debut, Killer Routine (2011). Hayes enters the high-stakes world of a heated congressional campaign after three masked, bat-wielding thugs violently interrupt a reception for Democratic candidate Edward Wong at Wong’s uncle’s Chinese restaurant in Fairfax County. The uncle, who’s a friend of Hayes, asks him to find out the motive for, and the people behind, the attack. In order to learn whether Wong’s opponent in the general election might be responsible, the comedian makes overtures to the rival campaign. While Hayes, still in mourning for his fiancée, Lauren Dempsey, who died eight months earlier in a car crash, is a sympathetic lead, his fairly superficial interactions with the important people in his life won’t endear the supporting cast to readers. (Jan.)