Publication Date: November 30, 2012
In Heavy Mental by P.J.Morse, Clancy Parker is a P.I. by day and a rock guitarist by night. As her landlord says, she has two real jobs. When Clancy is hired by a sexy socialite to find a necklace she thinks the case will be a breeze. Can Clancy solve the case, battle her feelings for her client’s sexy psychiatrist and make it out alive?
Morse says in her biography that she writes “cozies that your nana might not like.” I suppose the main character in this novel could be looked upon as edgy in a sense. She’s a woman working as a P.I. which is rare in the genre. She starts out fairly impressively as a character that gets things done and then evolves as the story progresses to a character that doesn’t make things happen but to whom things happen. There is something eerily familiar about her. She says at one point in the novel that Wayne forgot a rule of life, “Most people who are weirdoes and freaks don’t know that they’re weirdoes and freaks.” (Kindle Edition Page 79). The sentence gave me pause while reading because I was starting to think things about Clancy and maybe I was supposed to have those hesitations with her character. She is a female Peter Pan. Clancy is a hipster without acknowledging anything so base or pretentious. She wrote a song in legalizing for goodness sakes.
InHeavy Mental, Clancy has an overload of whacky all around her. Her overly involved mother has a flask on hand at all times for emergencies and is extremely accident prone. She constantly has a break or sprain and has her slings and casts custom designed by artists to match what she’s wearing. Her father is an overly involved man who stages an intervention with her ex. He just wants her to settle down or come to work for him. The drummer in her band is a commitment-phobe with a loose zipper. Another bandmate is a stoner whose “true love is his bong.” Clancy’s client is a waterfall of crazy and the client’s husband is a fat professor who is a menace behind the wheel. Clancy’s car is named Cherry 2000. I know lots of folks who would love these characters. Perhaps as they develop in the course of the series we’ll see their eccentricities evolve into something less grating.
Both of my Grandmothers are gone but I don’t know why they wouldn’t have read this book. There’s lots of swearing and some somewhat public sex that isn’t graphic. The violence couldn’t be called gory either. As I read the book the thought kept arising that Clancy thinks she’s edgy, but she really doesn’t come off that way in the narration. Perhaps the plan for other novels or later in the series is to be graphic, but I’d send this novel to my Dad without blinking twice. The story line was consistently maintained though not very exciting. Once we meet the character driving the subplot, the reader has a good sense of where the story is going. There are no real surprises. I would be interested to see, now that Morse has developed the characters, where she goes next in the world of Clancy Parker.
The bottom line for Tammy Dewhirst is that I didn’t connect in any way with Clancy or the characters in the novel. Normally, a connection is not a necessity. Clancy is 28-year-old and is doing well though she seems to lean toward the New Girl sort of mentality which I know a lot of people love, but I just don’t get. Looking at life through wide-doe eyes is not something Clancy does, but she does kind of look askance at people with a plan. I do believe that if you enjoy shows like New Girl, The Mindy Project, or characters like Stephanie Plum, you will like this novel.
If you have a holiday coming up that will involve pool-side reading, Heavy Mental: A Clancy Parker Mystery is a light read and is the perfect book for you.
If this sounds like a book for you, read an excerpt and buy Heavy Mental by P.J.Morse on