Sunday, September 26, 2010

Trevor Cole and Ken Finkleman - a double-shot o' murder

My double-review of the new Trevor Cole and Ken Finkleman novels is in today's Toronto Star. If you disagree, come tell me at the Word on the Street TO Star tent today at 4. Come one, come all.

A taste:

Murder mysteries are among the most conservative of literary genres. Though their plots revel in crime, corruption, lies and death, the understanding is that murder happens for a reason, and those reasons are discoverable, even if the perpetrators are not always apprehend able. There are many brilliant exceptions to this formula — most sophisticated mystery fans will already be silently mouthing them — but that is the formula at its simplest.

Comic writing, especially the black-hearted kind, is possessed of a much more anarchic vision, one that delights in disorder and sees no reason to correct it. When a murder occurs in a comedy, the reason behind it is often irrelevant or non-existent. Simply put: Nobody really cares why or how Bernie died, they just want to watch two goofs spend a weekend with the corpse.

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