Page 45 Review by Jonathan
"I don't know you."
"Well, we know you Maggy Garrisson. Tell us what we want to know and we'll leave."
"Sure. No problem. You're a pair of druggy morons. You both have a history of juvenile delinquency. Right now, you're playing tough guys. But really you're just sent here by someone who actually finished school and now gives the orders.
"Was there anything else you wanted to know?"
Haha, I do so like Maggy Garrisson. Here's the rap sheet from the publisher to tell us all about this bad-mouthing bad ass
"After two years of unemployment, Maggy Garrisson lands a secretarial job. Too bad her new boss is the shady, chaotic Anthony Wight: private detective and alcoholic. But a job is a job, and Maggy could use the cash.
Five days into her new role, Wight is beaten to a pulp and Maggy is tasked with returning his wallet. With this seemingly innocuous request, Maggy enters a sinister underworld of corrupt cops, crooked businessmen, and career criminals.
There's a lot to investigate, from the disappearance of a family album to the theft of gold teeth from bodies at the crematorium. But for someone with the energy, ingenuity, and enterprising spirit of Maggy Garrisson, puzzles are there to be solved, especially if there's money to be made in the process."
And thus begins a hard hitting, if not entirely serious look at how to become a private detective pretty much entirely by accident! For once Maggie realises that not only can she pick up Anthony Wight's very saggy caseload slack whilst he's in hospital recuperating and get paid, she's also well on the way to getting herself into no end of trouble too!
Fortunately, having cultivated policewoman Sheena as a drinking buddy, Maggie has at least some resources to try and help get her out of the particularly precarious situation her new boyfriend, the decidedly dodgy Alex (one of the two 'druggy morons'), is dragging her ever further deeper into.
Well, okay, she's running headlong into trouble and loving every second of it, but she's still going to need a lot of help to avoid getting completely out of her depth if she's not careful. Fortunately she is very careful indeed, and also very crafty to boot too
This is for me hands down the best fictional work Lewis POPPIES OF IRAQ Trondheim has done. I have no idea why he hasn't decided to illustrate it himself, but in Stephanie Oiry he has found someone whose style is perfectly suited to this oh so well constructed game of cat and mouse. Maggie is convinced she can stay one step ahead of the local goons, but maybe they're not the only people she needs to be watching out for
This is as cleverly crafted a caper as CRIMINAL itself, with some wonderful little side-bar cases thrown in for good measure that Maggie needs to continually solve just to keep herself afloat for cash. The main case, though, whilst it might offer a considerably larger payday
of the not entirely legal variety
is the one that could also get her head kicked in good and proper if she's not very careful
and verrrrry crafty
Did I mention
? Oh yes, I did!
Being set in the UK, with the mildly comedic convoluted case to unravel by an amateur sleuth thing going-on this also has some of the feel of Posy Simmonds' CASSANDRA DARKE and indeed also MANN'S BEST FRIEND by Sophie & Scarlett Rickard. So therefore highly recommended!