The Bottom Line: A laugh-out-loud crime novel that deftly satirizes political douchebaggery without fear or favor.
Every humorous mystery needs a memorable hangout, and Plain Brown Wrapper’s is The Booty Scoot, a Dallas gay bar where “tight Wranglers, white Stetsons and shirts stiff with enough starch to stop a bullet” prevail. But the good times come to a halt for Booty Scoot regular and Dallas City Councilman Billy Clayton when his latest indiscretion comes with a side helping of blackmail.
Meanwhile, local college student Allison Kerry is in dire need of cash. Orphaned as a teenager, she still managed to earn a collegiate scholarship. But now she’s facing law school tuition, not to mention her brother’s soaring attorney and medical bills. After striking a “Faustian bargain” with ex-boyfriend Chad, she ends up in a harebrained jam with a gaggle of shadowy political con men.
Author Greg Lynch has created a sympathetic protagonist in Allison, but his characterization of Councilman Clayton really shines. Clayton is a political horn dog who squirts Aloe Vera juice inside his boots and just barely manages to keep his offensive tirades within his inner circle. At times, the book’s grab bag of shysters can get a tad confusing, even for Allison, but each dose of Clayton’s comic goodness is its own reward, and the overall effect is highly effective
While not for the easily offended, Plain Brown Wrapper is highly recommended, especially for fans of Rich Leder and Janet Evanovich.