After suffering through some lagging stories of late, Hot Sinatra‘s readability was as exciting as ditching a polka band for a live showing with Sinatra, himself.
My normal genre reading wouldn’t lead me into a crime novel about Frank Sinatra’s lost record, but it’s refreshingly easy-to-read style, and endearing characters really impressed me. Hat’s off to Axel Howerton, and his editing team at Evolved Publishing, for producing another book that reminded me why I enjoy reading.
Hot Sinatra starts off with private investigator, Mossimo Cole, visiting an old folks’ home to learn about a stolen, one-of-a-kind Sinatra record. For someone who prefers stories on an epic scale, that shouldn’t have drawn me in as much as it did. The author’s deft subtlety in blending humor with glimpses into Mossimo’s good side, endear us to his imperfect nature, while chuckling at his whit and silly cohorts.
In this opening page, he describes the old folks as “shambling out onto the front lawn like plaid-suited zombies,” but, because of his grandfather’s upbringing, honors him, and them, by taking a second to offer “a lazy wave back and shout, ‘Looks like a nice warm day shaping up there.’ A terrible cliche, but what the hell else did they have to talk about?”
The author’s smooth prose continues to pull you into Mossimo’s experience, and adds more layers onto his smart-mouthed humor as he takes a job from a stubborn old man. Soon after, the action amps up, and we see how Mossimo’s humor gets him into trouble:
I pulled my hands out from behind me, and half-cartwheeled to throw my still-bound knees and the chair they were tied to into his gut. The chair splintered and I was free, but the big Nazi was up fast, dragging me to my feet.
“Truce?” I winked. “I know some nice Jewish girls I could introduce you to.”
He heaved me up to his eye level and growled like a lazy bear at the zoo.
He tossed me like a rag doll over a heap of scrapped wooden chairs and table parts, into the corner of the room. As I struggled to my feet, he lumbered forward, hurling debris left and right like Godzilla clearing a path through downtown Tokyo.
The story is vulgar at times with the language and sexual references, but I laughed more than I have at most books, with the worst part of the sexual aspect being dialogue description of hallmark acts of two porn stars you’ll meet later. I could have done without these two elements, but I enjoyed meeting Mossimo Cole, and despite those hangups, really enjoyed the story.
The reason why I enjoyed the story, other than the fact that I enjoyed the author’s style of prose, was because of how he highlighted Mossimo’s character flaws concerning booze, women, and controlling his tongue. He’s a troubled soul who is trying his best, and I enjoyed rooting for him to succeed through his mistakes, cheering when he grew as a person.
Mossimo is a very interesting person, from his way with kids, to his fluency in eight languages and thirty instruments, to a stubbornness of taking on sharks knife-to-teeth, or three different gangs, (whatever the day calls for in his crazy life), and on top of all that, he’s a smooth talking lady-killer. His cavalcade of qualities seemed a little too fantastic at times, but the author supports each of their origins through Moss’s backstory, making you shrug your shoulders and say, “Dude’s just got it going on.” You don’t want a dull main character supporting a series of stories, and I enjoyed how the author set up future books in this story’s conclusion–kind of like my favorite TV show, Castle, with the humor to boot.
Rating: 4 Stars.