cover image Ten Dead Comedians

Ten Dead Comedians

Fred Van Lente. Quirk, $22.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-59474-974-2

Comics author Van Lente (Action Philosophers!) makes his fiction debut with a high-concept riff on Agatha Christie’s classic Ten Little Indians. Dustin Walker, an actor who’s best known from an improv comedy TV series and a movie franchise that started with Help! I Married a Cat, has invited a variety of prominent comedians to an isolated island in the Caribbean, including Janet Kahn, an insult comic; Oliver Rees, the creator of the Orange Baby Man character (which he’s successfully franchised); and William Griffith, who performs in character as the redneck Billy the Contractor. The murders begin soon after everyone arrives, and their host accuses them, via a recording, of being guilty of crimes against comedy. Before long, the guests conclude that the killer is one of their own. Christie fans may enjoy seeing how Van Lente redoes Ten Little Indians for the digital age, and others will appreciate the entertainment industry satire, but the humor may be just too broad or tasteless in places for some. Agent: Jason Yarn, Jason Yarn Literary Agency. (July)