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Once a hotshot investigative reporter, Jack Tagger now bangs out obituaries for a South Florida daily, plotting to resurrect my newspaper career by yoking my byline to some famous stiff.

Publishers Weekly

Hiassen gets back to his roots with this (almost) straight-ahead mystery, but doesn't skimp on the funny stuff as he follows the adventures of Jack Tagger, down-on-his-luck journalist relegated to the obit beat at a smalltown Florida daily. While researching a death notice, Jack stumbles by accident upon an actual news story: former rocker Jimmy Stoma has drowned while diving in the Bahamas, and his widow, wannabe star Cleo Rio, can't convince Jack that his death was accidental. The mystery offers Jack a way out of his job-related death fixation (It's an occupational hazard for obituary writers memorizing the ages at which famous people have expired, and compulsively employing such trivia to track the arc of one's own life) and toward his increasingly lusty feelings for Emma, his 27-year-old editor ( `Bring whipped cream,' I tell her, `and an English saddle' ). But when things turn violent and Jack suddenly has to defend himself with a giant frozen lizard, he enlists the help of his sportswriter friend Juan Rodriguez and teenage club scene veteran Carla Candilla to try to find out why someone is killing off has-been sleaze rockers. A hilarious sendup of exotic Floridian fauna in the newspaper business, the novel offers all the same treats Hiassen's fans have come to crave. What makes this book different is its first-person, present-tense narrative style. Unlike previous capers, which were narrated in the omniscient third person, this book settles squarely in the mystery genre from whence Hiaasen's fame (Double Whammy; Tourist Season) initially sprang. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Author : Carl Hiaasen

Publisher : Grand Central Publishing

Published Year : January 2003

Format : Mass Market Paperback - Mass Market Paperback, 432 pages

Subject : Detective Fiction, Arts & Entertainment - Fiction, Humorous Fiction, Occupations - Fiction, Other Mystery Categories

Dimensions : 4.25 (w) x 6.87 (h) x 1.50 (d)

ISBN : 044661193X

ISBN13 : 9780446611930

Overview :

Once a hotshot investigative reporter, middle-aged Jack Tagger now bangs out obituaries for a South Florida daily, plotting to resurrect my newspaper career by yoking my byline to some famous stiff. Jimmy Stoma, the infamous front man of Jimmy and the Slut Puppies, might be the stiff of Jack's dreams: dead in a diving accident that gives off a fishy smell -- if only Jack can figure out what happened.

It won't be easy, with untimely interference from (among others) his ambitious young editor, who hasn't yet fired anyone but plans to break her cherry on Jack; the rock star's pop-singer widow, Cleo Rio, who's hiding something that requires a brutish bodyguard to protect (though he's no match for Jack's frozen lizard); and the soulless, profit-hungry owner of the newspaper, whom Jack once publicly humiliated at a stockholder's meeting.

With clues from the dead rock singer's own music, Jack ultimately unravels Jimmy's strange fate -- a hilariously hard-won triumph for the greater good of muckraking journalism, and for death-obsessed Jack himself.

Always be prepared is Jack's motto -- and it's more than enough to guarantee a wickedly funny, brilliantly entertaining Carl Hiaasen novel.

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