Sunday, January 26, 2014
Mister Rainbow In the Case of the Death of a Ladies' Man - by C. S. Boag
Mister Rainbow in the Case of the Death of a Ladies' Man is the second in s series of mystery novels covering the colors of the rainbow. This one happens to be orange. I admit to not having read the first book and found that I was not hampered by the lack of the experience.
Death of a Ladies Man is not a part of my regular reading material. I tend to stay in the Horror/Dark Fiction category, but this was a case of an author reaching out to me with a request for a fair and honest review and after looking into the book and seeing it described as, "In the great tradition of Dashiell Hammett's Sam Spade and Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe," I was more than willing to take a chance.
It's true, there are moments where there was an ambiance of noir in Boag's writing, with worthy lines like, "Thomas L. Tycho was everybody's enemy, a trickster who played one trick too many, on one too many people, a dirty dealer who dealt one dirty deal to far, a wide boy wide enough to keep himself alive until the moment he made the mistake of wide boys evthe world over -- and that was not getting a whole lot narrower when the gun went off."
There were some other gems. Since his divorce, Rainbow's been living on a boat he named Wooden No as in the answer to the question, "What's the name of your boat?" Clever.
However, as I got further into the story, it just seem like the writer was trying too hard, much of the writing seemed forced; good noir should seem effortless, even though it's not. Plus, I found the repetitive use of strange words to be a bit annoying. Words like "phyzog" for face. I was able to look that one up. Others, like, "porphyry," as in "something in the porphyry of my senses." I don't believe it was a proofreading issue as the book is quite clean in that regard. It could be the character subbing this word for "periphery" in an attempt to be cute, but it just didn't work for me. And then there's the use of "fenetre" for window every time. Why can't a window just be a window?
Ok, let me step down from my soap box. If you can get by all of the stange writing quirks, there is a good story here and for that, I liked it and maybe you will too.