Chump Change by Jeff Lee

August 28, 2014



Morris “Fish” Fishbein is a man with a lot of hats. He’s everything from a chef to a bounty hunter and is considering adding reality television star to the list. When a group of FTAs he’s been contracted to find start dying, Fish finds that his task is a new one. Can Fish find the killer?



The author, Jeff Lee, gave me a copy of this novel in exchange for my review.


My 68-year-old dad, Dave, and I read [easyazon_link asin=”B00N4JKCMU” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]Chump Change[/easyazon_link] by Jeff Lee together. We agree that there’s something of a 80s-comedy-throwback feel to Jeff Lee’s story. The author likens himself to comedy cozy and genre-defying greats Carl Hiaason and Janet Evanovich, but I felt that the novel had more of a Joseph Wambaugh vibe. While not a police procedural, [easyazon_link asin=”B00N4JKCMU” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]Chump Change[/easyazon_link] and its characters have the same go for broke vibe of the cops of the Hollywood station. Dave thought that Fish reminded him a bit of Jim Rockford. Great guy but he can’t catch a break. The ultimate feel for both of us is one of laughing uproariously at things one can only find funny in fiction and in a world far removed from one’s own.

Lee’s protagonist is one that is choosing to involve himself in the action. Like the Agatha Raisin’s of the literary world, something happens and he finds himself inextricably involved but it’s very clear from the start that he’s not a character that would let it go. While Moe might seem unclear on his definite career path in a make-a-buck world, he is hyper-focused on whatever manages to catch his attention, a feel that furthers the Rockford connection for Dave. Shyster lawyer turned producer, Arnie, is not wrong that Moe would make for some really good reality television.

There is a frenetic energy in Lee’s large cast of supplemental characters. From the parking meter change robbers who fail to appear to a televangelist who loves his porn (Dave, a deeply religious man, was not as comfortable with the character as I was), Lee puts together a horrifyingly believable cast. I’d never want to meet his characters on the street but would read them every day of the week. Dave does not watch reality television, but I do and I can see Fish fitting right in with Andy Cohen’s Bravo world.

Balancing Moe is Detective Carlos Santana. Every cozy character needs this on the force and Santana maintains that for Moe. A lot of the character involvement in the story line feels like a punchline which was good for me but a bit wearing for my father who, it must be said, also finds my beloved Hiaason a bit out there. Though, when the book was done he was still chuckling over a few key moments.

The flow of [easyazon_link asin=”B00N4JKCMU” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]Chump Change[/easyazon_link] is fast and fun. If you’re looking for a light and fast read that is thoroughly entertaining, pick [easyazon_link asin=”B00N4JKCMU” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]Chump Change[/easyazon_link] up today.


You can read an excerpt and buy Chump Change by Jeff Lee on:

Amazon U.S.Amazon U.K.Amazon Canada

For more information about Jeff Lee, visit his website. You can connect with him on Goodreads and Twitter @jfredlee.

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