It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Some might associate that with Christmas, but they’re generally kids, or adults who can’t give it up. But for me, it when I can crow about a new book release featuring that nefarious nobody named Monk Buttman.
Book 5 in the series, The Fist Inside the Glove, finds our nobody in the tight grip of physical restraint caused by his neck being broken in a car accident. He is not happy about this. It, and the neck brace he’s required to wear, is crimping his style. His wife, Agnes, is not happy either. Her long-time employer, Johnny D, is closing up shop and moving back to Colombia, and her already fraught relationship with her father blows up in spectacular style at her son’s wedding.
In the midst of this, Monk finds himself in possession of a book with the quaint title of The Court Jester, curtesy of his amused friend, Xavier Dunkle II, who plays it up for laughs. The book, in lugubrious language, posits—a fancy word for “making a statement on the assumption it will be proven true”—that the time has come for the wealthy, and well-connected, to take control of the country and do away with our troublesome and not particularly efficient democratic form of government. (Sound familiar?) Monk finds it fits in quite well with that class of well-to-do, of which he is now reluctantly a part, who take umbrage at the flakes, cranks, and political bomb-throwers who threaten their financial stability and control, to which they believe themselves ordained.
Mostly though, like Xavier, he finds it a well worn whine of those in power.
Until people start dying.
Which might include him.
Pressed on by circumstance, and by Agnes, who finds herself invigorated by the idea they might be in danger and the possibility of adventure—and their being murdered, Monk and his able assistant saunter along among a cast of characters who may or may not be on the level. Agnes finds this thrilling; Monk is certain it’s not going to end well:
“It’s a death wish, isn’t?” I (Monk) countered. I wasn’t convinced the plan had any reason to be successful; it was us playing detective and foiling the bad guys even though we weren’t sure who the bad guys were.”
Is it the book’s author who lives like a hermit in the California desert? The shyster lawyer Agnes is sure is only in it for a buck? The investment titan enticing Monk to join them…maybe? Or is it a shadowy ex-CIA assassin playing his own game? Whoever it is, Monk is certain they’re in over their heads.
If only he could move his neck to see.
©2022 David William Pearce