Walt Williams returns in Lady Justice and the Lost Tapes by Robert Thornhill, just in time to take down a mob boss and other criminals too. In this delightful comedy/mystery, Walt continues in his job as the leader of C.R.A.P. (City Retiree Area Patrol), in which retired citizens become special members of the police force. The mob clearly is involved in trying to buy out an entire neighborhood, using strong-arm tactics including simple pressure, vandalism, arson, and even murder. Walt and his fellow “Crapper,” Vince, have to go undercover posing as a couple to the gay bar in the vicinity. But they still can’t figure out exactly what is going on. So the investigation leads to Walt’s having to go undercover in a tranny bar! And in another fun move, Walt serves as ” Grandpa Elvis,” the King’s impersonator.
This book has a great mystery plot to it, or rather multiple plots, but beyond that, it is a delightful story with loads of fun. This is the kind of book that Garrison Keiller would write if he were to write a mystery. The book takes side trips to look at scenes from Walt’s life and time with his quirky, motley set of friends, and then it veers back on course with the mystery once again. The storytelling is so creative that even though I personally find Keiller a bit tiresome, I never lose delight in any of this hilarious book.
For an example of the fun storytelling, the book presents a really fun Thanksgiving. Walt and Maggie cook the turkey, with neither having any cooking skills at all. For stuffing, they start with Wonder Bread, not having any stuffing bread. Then, figuring that the lettuce he has is also a vegetable, he sautes that with the onion. The instructions say to add stock, which he learns is a kind of soup. With a choice of beef barley and chicken noodle, they figure that since chicken is poultry that’s the more appropriate choice. Then they season it with crab seasoning, the only seasoning they have. When it comes time to cook the gravy, Walt doesn’t have any flour, but shouldn’t pancake mix work? Since most of the other guests bring pumpkin pie, with everything else being inedible, everyone enjoys just turkey and pie but agrees that it’s the best Thanksgiving they’ve ever experienced.
The book is excellently narrated by George Kuch, who embodies Walt and even rather sounds like Garrison Keiller in addition, voice and slow pace and all. He really contributes so much to the book as he performs that I think he deserves high accolades for his job. Although the quality of the book already kept me from putting the recording on pause even for a second, the performance is so excellent that it added to my being glued to the book all the more.
I want to advise anyone and everyone to read Lady Justice and the Lost Tapes if you can’t listen to it, but definitely do not skip this series! I did not think it possible, but this book is even better than the first book in the series, Lady Justice Takes a C.R.A.P.. I give this book five stars!
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