cover image Suburban Dicks

Suburban Dicks

Fabian Nicieza. Putnam, $27 (400p) ISBN 978-0-593-19126-2

The murder of a gas station attendant in West Windsor, N.J., propels this outstanding debut novel from Nicieza, the cocreator of the comic book superhero Deadpool. Andrea Stern—mother of four with a fifth on the way—stumbles across the victim while looking for a bathroom for her kids. The perpetually exhausted Andrea, who gave up her dreams of becoming an FBI profiler when she first became pregnant, decides to investigate and, after finding glaring inconsistencies in the sloppy police work, vows to track down the killer. Meanwhile, disgraced investigative reporter Kenneth Lee is attempting to resurrect his career with a story that uncovers the criminal behind the first murder in the West Windsor–Plainsboro area in more than 30 years. Together Andrea and Kenneth uncover a grand-scale conspiracy driven by racism and institutional bigotry that has lasted generations and continues to plague the township. Nicieza delivers a wildly entertaining blend of high-octane snark and brass-knuckle social commentary, but it’s the courageous Andrea and her group of soccer moms, whom she privately dubs the Cellulitists, who steal the show. Mystery fans looking for something different won’t want to miss this quirky crime novel. Agent: Albert Lee, United Talent Agency. (June)