With apologies to the author, it took me longer than it should have to review this novel and, as always, it’s the best ones that are delayed.
Publication Date: September 24, 2012
Problem solver Vid and Vee the Reporter, both critters, happen upon a very dead human Johnny Beardy. Notable upon Beardy’s body is mayonnaise, which has been illegal for years on Planet 10 as it becomes a potent drug when mixed with an unnamed chemical. What develops is a deep plot of revenge that has Vid and Vee traveling the universe and landing in Colorado. Will they do the right or the easy thing?
“Chicken revenge is a serious thing.” (Kindle location 673)
As serious as chicken revenge may be, The Mayonnaise Murders isn’t. Owens novel was a whacky and off the wall read that isn’t for everyone. David joined me on this adventure only to abandon the novel a few chapters in saying that he “just didn’t get it”. If you think everything that you read should be relatable, this may not be the book for you. If you like good fun, cheesy plotlines and wisecracking characters, The Mayonnaise Murders is the novel for you. As we know, Jasper Fforde is my favorite author and the novel that locked in my love for him was one in which Jack Spratt of fairy tale glory was a detective of fairy tale creatures. “The Mayonnaise Murders” rejoices the absurd. Told in the snappy patter of a 50s’ PI movie and from the perspective of Vid, the narrative resonates with wisecracks worthy of Jim Rockford.
Owens doesn’t bog us down in expansive detail about his world and how it began. He gives us exactly what we need so that the novel has a filled-out feel of setting and time. The author assumes that we as readers are smart enough to extrapolate the rest. To do anything else would not have been true to the Vid character. Vid is moving forward, always. Vee has a vested interest in finding out about the mayonnaise as she and MayoMadd have a complicated history that has taken her from the “Very Very” (she is the daughter of a noted and successful scientist) to the streets of Planet 10. Owens very cleverly expands her back-story without weighing the readers down with information they don’t need to solve the crime and keep the story-line moving.
Due to the snappy patter in which Owen writes, The Mayonnaise Murders is a very fast moving tale infused with wonderful pop culture references. Cops are keystones, the Beatles are remembered and appreciated, the Weekly World News is alive and well. Vid and Vee have a kind of Maddie and David thing going on (“Moonlighting”). All of the elements brought together makes for a very interesting and fun read that doesn’t take itself too seriously. That’s not to say that there’s not something of a hidden message in the light-hearted text. If you’re going to look down on folks, how quick will they be to help you when you need it?
Even if you’re not into sci-fi, give it a shot. The Mayonnaise Murders is a brilliantly tongue in cheek mystery sure to please a lot of fans. Originally sold in a serial three-novel format, The Mayonnaise Murders can now be purchased in one complete edition and that edition is linked here.
If this sounds like a book for you, you can order it through Amazon.com by clicking on the image or book title anywhere in this review. Links for Amazon.ca and Amazon.co.uk appear below.
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