cover image Fun House: 
A John Ceepak Mystery

Fun House: A John Ceepak Mystery

Chris Grabenstein. Pegasus Crime, $25 (336p) ISBN 978-1-60598-336-3

The cast and crew of a reality TV show, Fun House, invade Sea Haven, N.J., in Anthony Award–winner Grabenstein’s amusing seventh mystery featuring straight-arrow cop and Iraqi War vet John Ceepak (after 2010’s Rolling Thunder). The reality show soon spills into another kind of realism: murder. First, someone shoots TV star and cultural icon Paulie Braciole (aka “The Thing”) through the head, then Thomas Hess (aka Skeletor), while away from his drug-dealing, Nazi-type motorcycle gang “brothers,” likewise becomes a single-gunshot victim. As a third target is announced, Fun House ratings soar. The show must go on, and it’s up to banged-up-Toyota-driving Ceepak and his wiseacre sidekick, Danny Boyle, who provides a hipper, Springsteen-quoting alternative to his senior partner’s Charlie Chan–like persona, to put everything together. The well-wrought behind-the-scenes Jersey Shore atmosphere more than compensates for some stock characters and familiar plot twists. Agent: Eric Myers, the Spieler Agency. (May)