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Madge’s husband Frank has her kidnapped in hopes of collecting on an insurance policy, but she finds out, shoots him in the knees, and takes off with the $200,000. She plans on taking a Greek cruise with her best friend Karen, but Karen’s crazy one-eyed wolf-dog bites the ear off a man, so she takes the dog on the lam. Several characters, including Madge’s ex-husband, the kidnapper, a cop on suspension, a narcoleptic driver and more are following the money from Ireland to Greece.

This is screwball comedy at its most complicated, with super short chapters told from the viewpoints of myriad characters. These characters would be right at home in a comic book, but none are very sympathetic or believable, so it’s hard to find one to root for. The book is dialogue heavy, which helps move it along at a frantic pace. It’s not dark enough to be considered noir, but should appeal to Tim Dorsey fans and readers who like comic capers.

This is the sequel to The Big O and picks up right where that book left off, so it’s probably better to start there.

Copyright ©2014 Booklist, a division of the American Library Association.

7/14 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

CRIME ALWAYS PAYS by Declan Burke. Severn House Publishers; Sew edition (July 1, 2014). ISBN 978-0727883759. 256p.

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