Friday, May 30, 2008

"Holy Moly"

Ben Rehder’s Blanco County mysteries, Buck Fever, Bone Dry, Flat Crazy, Guilt Trip, and Gun Shy, have made best-of-the-year lists in Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Kirkus Reviews.

He applied the Page 69 Test to his new novel, Holy Moly, and reported the following:
I’m known for writing humorous mysteries, and page 69 of Holy Moly is certainly no exception. That particular excerpt is simply ripe with hysterical lines. Take this exchange, for instance:

“How long was he there?” Tatum asked.

“Maybe fifteen minutes.”

“Any idea why he chose you?”


Come on, is that a zinger or what? You’re cracking up, right? No? Hmm. All right, then try this one-two punch:

“What’d he say?”

“Nothing. He thanked me for my time and left.”

Okay, hold on a second. I’m sensing something. It turns out page 69 really isn’t that funny. In that scene, my protagonist (game warden John Marlin) and a couple of cops are asking a university professor some questions about a dinosaur fossil. The fossil, it seems, has played a role in a recent murder. For some reason—despite the fact that dinosaur fossils are the funniest comic device since the whoopee cushion—I wrote the scene in a straightforward manner. What was I thinking? How did I mishandle such a great opportunity for levity?

Well, let me say this: The rest of the novel is downright hilarious. A regular laugh riot. You’ll giggle, you’ll chortle, you’ll guffaw, you might even titter.

No, really. Trust me.
Learn more about the author and his work at Ben Rehder's website and his blog.

Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue