Saturday, May 31, 2014

NURSERY RHYME NOIR by David C. Kopaska-Merkel A Review

Publisher:   Sam’s Dot Publishing (2008)
Paperback:          134 pages
ISBN-10:    0982106831
ISBN-13:    978-0982106839
Reviewer:   Herika R Raymer

 Synopsis: A collection of short stories following Private Investigator Hasp Deadbolt as he looks into the crimes concerning nursery rhymes. After all, did not the dish run away with the spoon – ever ask yourself why? Or how about the poor Pumpkin Eater and his wife? Follow Mr. Deadbolt in his investigations, and be prepared for some interesting twists to childhood stories.

Review:   I adored this book! It is definitely for those with a particular sense of humor. Bad puns are the trend of each story, even if they are a splendid revisit to the old tales. I never thought I would like puns, but the delivery is classic. The collection is slightly out of order, but the stories are so entertaining that this is forgivable. It recounts the adventures of Mr. Deadbolt as he takes on various cases involving the Three Blind Mice, Bo Peep's missing sheep, how Jack tumbled down the hill, and many more. Pick up a copy!

Find David Kopaska-Merkel at:

Biography (care of Amazon Author Bio)
 David Kopaska-Merkel, who has his day job at the Alabama Geological Survey, by his own definition "describes rocks for the State of Alabama." He is the co-editor of Pennsylvania Footprints in the Black Warrior Basin of Alabama, a paleontology work we assume is very nonfictional, about rare animal fossil tracks. He is also the author of a bunch of poetry and a blog, which includes flash fiction-the very shortest form of fiction. An example: "My name is Daisy. You mow my parents. Prepare to die." Nursery Rhyme Noir is not quite flash fiction but it is only one notch up-the short-short. Kopaska-Merkel has created a P.I., Hasp Deadbolt, often mistakenly called Deadbeat, to tell these stories. Read aloud, or even silently, Deadbolt sounds like Garrison Keillor's Guy Noir, who is himself of course a parody of the Mike Hammer of Mickey Spillane or Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe. Deadbolt narrates each case, and each case is based on a nursery rhyme--Little Bo Peep, Humpty Dumpty, Jack and Jill, you get the picture. Having not read these nursery rhymes in over thirty years I went to the Tuscaloosa Public Library and read one hundred of them in just a few minutes. This is not difficult because they are very, very short. Little Bo Peep is 25 words. Humpty Dumpty is 27 words The story of Jack Sprat and his wife is told in only 24 words. This gives Kopaska-Merkel lots of room to invent and it is clear he has a good time with that freedom.

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