I read a really good book recently, y'all — Big Money, by Jack Getze. Let me tell you a little about it.
Big Money is a great read!! It's Book Two in the Austin Carr screwball mystery series, following Big Numbers (which I reviewed here). Austin Carr is a lovable scamp of a stockbroker who, through no fault of his own, manages to find himself in one crazy scrape after another.
In this jaunty follow-up to Big Numbers, a scruffy stockbroker returns to tangle with mobsters, women and his own big mouth. The good news, as the story opens, is that the hero is in the company of a gorgeous naked lady. The bad news is that she's pointing a shotgun at him. It's a typical predicament for Austin Carr, a semi-shady New Jersey financial professional temporarily in charge of Shore Securities...He's being extorted into opening a money-laundering account for local crime boss Bluefish; an auditor who was investigating his company has turned up murdered; a fetching state police captain figures he's the key to her organized-crime probe; and his boss's mother has been picked up for fixing her church bingo game.
Author Jack Getze uses an uncommon method to hook his readers from the beginning. Getze starts Big Money, which is told from Austin's point of view, near the end of the action. Austin is in a perilous predicament, where he's in fear for his life from an undisclosed practically nude woman with a loaded shotgun. (She is wearing white athletic socks, like that really makes a difference, but I digress.) Austin then tells his tale from the beginning, so the reader can find out how Austin gets into that predicament, as well as many more precarious situations prior to it.
This technique works - it was so hard to put Big Money down. I wanted to continue reading, because I had to find out the identity of the shotgun-wielding woman, plus learn how Austin got himself into that mess in the first place. Getze kept me guessing until the end.
Jack Getze (and Austin Carr) certainly have a way with words, as you can see in these quotes from some of my favorite passages in Big Money.
"I'm not much of a fighter."
Luis shakes his head. "This is not true, amigo. Myself, I am experienced with many weapons. My favorite is the knife, and I handle even the large ones with skill. Yet your words can be more cutting than my biggest knife. Austin Carr fights with his brain and his mouth. And he fights very well."
Now that's an interesting take on my Gift for Gab. I always saw my verbal proficiency as a shield, not a weapon. But who am I to argue with a Toltec warrior?
"Really, Pop. Did you see that waiter?" Ryan says.
"He's just old," I say. "People's ears and noses never stop growing, you know. That's why almost everybody looks funny when they get old."
"You don't look funny," Ryan says.
Ouch. "I'm not old."
Ryan and Beth glance at each other and giggle.
Oh, my, that was dumb. Sometimes my Gift of Gab turns into Big Stupid Mouth.
Damn. Here it is again, that special Austin Carr moment when I know I am about to speak words that will produce inevitable, disastrous repercussions. Nevertheless, I will make my little speech ... because ... and here's the unvarnished truth for a change ... I'm a blabbermouth who craves the sound of his own voice.
Shocked? Please remember, I'm a trained telephone salesman. Any lie can be framed with truth. There is no lechery too base in the pursuit of love or big commissions.
I've .... asked too many questions, because, as we all know, those of us with the Gift of Gab never know when to shut the hell up. It's a universal fact.
Have I convinced you yet? Big Money is a great read, four kitties, and I really enjoyed it! I think you will enjoy it also, if you like light funny mysteries that are more noir than cozy. The characters are well-written, interesting, and quirky. Big Money is entertaining, fast-paced, action-packed, thrilling, and suspenseful, with unexpected twists and turns, and highly recommended by Jane Reads.
The Famous Author
Former Los Angeles Times reporter Jack Getze is Fiction Editor for Anthony nominated Spinetingler Magazine, one of the internet’s oldest websites for noir, crime, and horror short stories. Through the Los Angeles Times/Washington Post News Syndicate, his news and feature stories were published in over five-hundred newspapers and periodicals worldwide. His two screwball mysteries, BIG NUMBERS and BIG MONEY, are being reissued by DOWN & OUT BOOKS, with the new BIG MOJO to follow. His short stories have appeared in A Twist of Noir and Beat to a Pulp. Getze is an Active Member of Mystery Writers of America’s New York Chapter.
Because the book is called Big Money, it's only appropriate that Jack Getze is giving away big money - an Amazon $100 gift card. Enter using the Rafflecopter below.
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Note: I received a complimentary copy of Big Money from the author, with no expectation of a positive review.