Double Trouble consists of two books, Too Good to be Truman and Too Bad to be Truman by Chris Well
I grew up at the tail end of the slapstick comedy era. I loved the Jerry Lewis movies in all their silliness. Maxwell Smart of the TV series “Get Smart” was the epitome of the loveable bumbler who was somehow successful in fighting against the agents of “Chaos” and their devious plans. Similarly it was the age of the Pink Panther series of movies with another bumbling law enforcer, Inspector Clouseau who was smarter than he first appeared. Watching these now is a nostalgic trip down memory lane. My husband had always enjoyed the Three Stooges although I always thought their comedy routine included too much “slap” and not enough “schtick” to be funny. Abbot and Costello was more my style, especially with their “Who’s on First?” episode. It’s no wonder, then, that I enjoy Chris Well’s Harry Truman books.
In Too Good to Be Truman, the main character, Harry, takes full advantage of his presidential name while investigating news stories and criminal cases. He adopts several personas and disguises while “undercover”. But even as the consummate bumbler, he somehow manages to pull off his deceptions and gain insightful information, often accidentally. He slips and slides from scene to scene, getting himself into trouble with the IRS, the FBI and the local police. How he stumbles into each situation and manages to extricate himself is what makes this character so loveable and at the same time make the readers cringe in discomfort at his cluelessness. There are times when you can’t help but empathize with Harry’s ex-wives.
In this case of mishaps and slip-ups, a prank call from Harry’s arch enemy reporter Carlin to the IRS begins the series of domino events. They discover a large deposit of money in his account and want an explanation. Harry is baffled because the money came and went without his knowledge until the IRS agent shows up at his door. Harry launches into an investigation that eventually involves the kidnapping of a young country music starlet, a rescue shelter for the homeless, some of Harry’s past contacts with the criminal element of society, the theft of a valuable artifact, a record recording label scam and and an FBI agent who assumes Harry is guilt before being proven innocent.
My hat is off in respect for author Chris Well’s ability to create a hilarious tangle of events that keeps the reader in stitches and suspense at the same time. If you enjoy a light-hearted treatment of crime investigation, tongue-in-cheek humor and a hapless bumbling lead character who somehow manages to come out on top of a situation ahead of other investigators, then I recommend reading the Harry Truman stories by Chris Well.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this ebook from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Too Bad to Be Truman by Chris Well
Be prepared to laugh. This book reminds me of an adult version of the Amelia Bedelia books I used to read to my children when they were young. Not everyone will enjoy the type of slapstick, zany humor employed by this author. But in spite of the light-hearted (and may I perhaps add, tongue-in-cheek, ‘lightheaded’) dry humored persona Chris Well has given to the main character, Harry Truman, Harry is a bit sharper than he first appears.
Harry Truman is a former crime reporter for a local newspaper. He’s making attempts to write the great American novel, perhaps with the intent to try to show the newspaper just what type of talented writer they had replaced. Curiously, he was not overly surprised when a couple of mobster like goons showed up at his door with the news that “the boss wants to see you.” While the readers roll their eyes with thoughts that this is going to be another ho-hum stereotypical read, the “boss” explains to Truman that he wants his biography–a memoir–written before he dies. Harry is less than enthused at the prospect. He’s not really given much of a choice, and on the way home he wonders how he is going to accomplish this task and write his own great novel.
Harry realizes he is being followed by someone he didn’t recognize. The man approaches him and Truman realizes the man thinks he is associated with the “boss.” The man wants Harry to kill his wife–for hire. Harry is not up to committing a crime, but instead of doing the right thing and reporting this to the police, he decides to investigate the situation for himself.
What follows is the strangest series of happenstances I’ve ever read in a mystery. The author presents some unexpected twists and turns that I did not see coming in addition to some good old-fashioned chase scenes. I give this zany adventure mystery a thumbs up for those who enjoy this type of light reading. It is quick paced and has some genuinely funny moments. If I were to rate this book, I would give it a PG-13 rating with a warning about the presence of some drinking, hangovers, smoking, a shooting, and some hints of sexual temptation. There is no crude language.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this ebook from the author through The Story Cartel. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”