One Big Joke
Laurence Shames
Key West Capers 13
Southernmost Press 2018

One Big Joke is the thirteenth installment in the Key West Capers series by comic mystery writer Laurence Sames. Though not as wild as Carl Hiaasen, as bloody as Tim Dorsey, nor as over the top as these two authors, Laurence Shames writes a solid mystery with its share of weird characters and crazy events. If you are looking for a well-written light mystery, Laurence Shames is your man. Kindle version: One Big Joke (Key West Capers Book 13)

In One Big Joke comedy writer Lenny Gluck is down in the dumps after Ricky Reed, the star of the pilot of the sitcom he created and written, has gone into rehab. One night, he has to move his car from one side of the street to the other and instead drives from New York City all the way to Key West where his pal and co-writer Pat Coates is trying to keep Titters, her comedy club on a boat, afloat.

It turns out Ricky is not in rehab but hiding from the mob because he has run off with the girlfriend of New York mobster Carmine. Carmine and his pal Peppers are sent by mob boss Luigi Benedetti to convince the owner of Titters it is in her best interest to sell the club, or else….

Carmine and Pepper have to get coordinate things with Bert the Shirt, an old-time mobster who retired in Florida. Bert the Shirt is the recurring character in Laurence Shames’ Key West Caper series. It turns out Bert the Shirt is rather fond of the owner of Titters and not a big fan of the guy Luigi Benedetti is in bed with.

Things get comically out of hand when Lenny, Ricky, Pat, Carla the girlfriend, and Bert the Shirt decide to band together to keep Titters pointing in the right direction.

Laurence Shames‘ comic mystery novel series is not laugh out loud funny like a good Hiaasen but One Big Joke is a fun read. It is perfect popcorn for the brain.

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