Coco Butternut

Joe Lansdale. Subterranean, $25 (88p) ISBN 978-1-59606-803-2
Fans of Lansdale’s East Texas crime fighting duo, Hap Collins and Leonard Pine, will devour this off-beat, macabre novella. When Jimmy Farmer, the owner of Oak Rest mortuary and pet cemetery, hires Hap and Leonard to retrieve the stolen mummified remains of his mother’s beloved dog, Coco Butternut, things get weird fast. The kidnapper offers a ransom for the dead pet and meets our heroes at night to exchange the body for a bag of money. The transaction goes smoothly enough, but Leonard smells a rat when they’re given a full-size coffin, which contains a human corpse tucked underneath the dog in a hidden compartment. When they race over to Farmer’s house with their discovery, Hap and Leonard find Farmer bludgeoned to death. As they investigate, the boys learn that all is not as it appears at Oak Rest and that even more secrets might be lurking among the tombstones. Lansdale (Honky Tonk Samurai) is without peer when it comes to this kind of tale, and the result is an infectious, darkly funny slice of weirdness. Agent: Danny Baror, Baror International. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/07/2016
Release date: 01/01/2017
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