Friday, June 20

Ticking Like a Time Bomb, Baby

Cover of "Gone Crazy" by Shannon Hill

Crazy kept on ticking. Just like a time bomb, was what I was thinking that night.

(p. 167, Loc. 1873)
Lil Littlepage Eller and Boris (he of the sharp claws and teeth) are back in action in Gone Crazy, the second of Shannon Hill's "Lil and Boris" series. This time, Lil's not only dealing with trying to find a place to live in Crazy that isn't with her Aunt Marge and Marge's beau, a new resident in Crazy named Raj who's both in love with her best friend Bobbi and making the local "whites only" crowd more than a little upset, various holidays (or, rather, local excuses to get drunk and disorderly). Not to mention a rash of nude teenagers.

"Do me a favor," I said. "When you talk to your son? Explain clothes." (p. 136, Loc. 1534)

Just to top matters off, she's also investigating the murder of Vera Collier, matriarch of the Collier clan. In Lil's own words:

"[The federal government] could go around the Colliers and Paint Hollow, or through them. It took them about half a minute to decide it was easier to go around.
And that's how everyone feels about the Colliers." (p. 7, Loc. 87)

I've realized, and I may have mentioned this in my previous review of Crazy, VA, that I really enjoy murder mysteries as a "comfort food" sort of reading. And two books into the series, I can definitely say that Lil and Boris hit that spot just perfectly for me. I picked up Crazy, VA because it was a free Kindle offering, but I enjoyed it enough that I bought Gone Crazy and am probably going to pick up the next one in the series before I head off on a plane trip. 

Crazy is, well, crazy. It also has the small-town dynamic I'm familiar with from places I've lived and worked. Lil remains real and relatable, even if Boris isn't, entirely (Boris is far smarter than any cat I've ever encountered, and my sister's and cousins' cats are pretty darn clever).

Boris didn't approve. He has a hate-hate relationship with the vet, ever since Dr. Mitchell neutered him and he bit Dr. Mitchell so hard the man needed stitches and antibiotics. (p. 15, Loc. 169)
Fair enough. I've got enough stories of Animals Behaving Badly at the vet that maybe Boris is quite real and a lot of what comes across as unreal is Lil's habit of anthropomorphizing him. After all, once upon a time my roommate's iguana bit our vet so hard he had to get stitches and antibiotics.

In the end, though, it's the relationship of Lil with the other humans around her that mean Crazy's a place I want to keep coming back to. Especially in the summer when I'm looking for comfort fiction like a good ice cream cone.

 ...I had Crazy to look forward to. It wasn't what you'd call a good end to a good day.

It got a lot worse when someone tried to kill me.

On second thought, I'm happy to read about Crazy. But not so sure I'd want to live there.