Kinky Friedman, Author . Simon & Schuster $24 (208p) ISBN 978-0-7432-4603-3

Friedman's comic, semi-autobiographical mystery series apparently comes to an end with this downbeat 18th entry, which, like 2004's The Prisoner of Vandam Street, is suffused with melancholy and loss. Friedman-the-detective is suffering from the disappearance of a close, longtime companion—his cat. When he decides to leave New York City for Texas to escape the doldrums, he's tracked down by a regular nemesis from the NYPD, Det. Sgt. Mort Cooperman, after the wallet of a murder victim, possibly the fourth in a series, turns up in Kinky's apartment. Four more murders occur, with clues again pointing to Friedman once he returns to the Big Apple. While the circle of suspects seems to be limited to his closest associates, suspense is lessened by the unlikelihood that a member of his Village Irregulars has suddenly been transformed into a psychopath. The depressing ending may disappoint some fans expecting the series' trademark laugh-out-loud humor stemming from Friedman's uniquely wry and twisted narrative voice. One can only hope that the author will soon apply his considerable gifts for creating colorful characters and amusing situations to a new series. Agent, David Vigliano. Author tour. (Mar. 8)

Reviewed on: 01/17/2005
Release date: 03/01/2005
Hardcover - 271 pages - 978-0-7862-7836-7
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-1-4165-9272-3
Ebook - 208 pages - 978-0-7432-7190-5
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