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King Maybe (Junior Bender) by Timothy Hallinan
Review by Joseph B. Hoyos
Soho Crime Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781616954321
Date: 12 April 2016 List Price $25.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Author's Website / Show Official Info /

During his long, illustrious career as a Hollywood burglar, Junior Bender has never been arrested. That may change when slimy, vindictive associates begin betraying him when he is performing his B&Es (breaking and entering). Junior is pursued by professional hit men and, more importantly, by Hollywood's greatest movie mogul, Jeremy Granger.

Granger is known as King Maybe because maybe he will make your movie and maybe he won't; he enjoys wielding his power, using it to mentally torture his victims. Unless he can escape King Maybe's evil clutches, Junior will lose more than his sanity; he will lose his freedom, and his life.

More by Timothy Hallinan:
Junior Bender Mysteries::
* Crashed
* Little Elvises
* The Fame Thief
* Herbie's Game
* King Maybe
Poke Rafferty Mysteries:
* Breathing Water
* The Queen of Patpong
* The Fear Artist
* For the Dead
* The Hot Countries

At the request of his many fans, Timothy Hallinan has Junior Bender performing more B&Es in his latest comic mystery, King Maybe. Unfortunately, these B&Es are ending in disaster. During the first one that goes awry, a hit man known as the Slugger beats to death a young Filipino house boy, Jejomar (short for Jesus, Joseph and Mary). Jejomar's employer (and Junior's favorite fence), Stinky Teitweiler, goes into hiding. With names like Eaglet, Ting Ting, and Louie the Lost, I sometimes think that I'm reading the spoof of a James Bond movie. Junior Bender novels have a two-fold purpose. The first is to make readers laugh out loud. The second is to make them feel good about their normal, average lives, because the novels' characters are the screwiest losers you will never want to meet.

If you ever dream of moving to L.A. and becoming a movie star, purchase and read a Junior Bender novel. You will quickly change your mind. Hollywood is a creepy, slimy, backstabbing, two faced, brown nosing, soul selling industry. Seriously, the Junior Bender novels are full of witticisms and Junior always teaches me something new. In Hollywood, a poseur who claims to worship Buddha while exhibiting gruesome behavior, such as ripping people off, is known as a Grueddhist. In Tennessee, where I was raised, a redneck who worships Jesus while ripping people off is known as a Baptist--a Southern Baptist to be exact.

There is a little bit of Junior Bender in all of us. Most of us see the system as a corrupt beast and wish to steal from the rich and give to ourselves. Humor takes the edge off of some of the more intense moments in King Maybe when likeable, family-oriented Junior finds himself wading knee deep in horse manure. There have been times when we, like Junior, have found ourselves trapped in the proverbial house of horrors, surrounded by wailing sirens and flashing red-and-blue lights. I read the novel's last one-hundred pages in a single gulp; fortunately, it ends on a happy note. Junior does his best to avenge loved ones as well as innocent strangers. Tinsel Town glitters triumphantly once again.

My youngest nephew, Jordan, is an avid reader and a great fan of my book reviews. However, he sometimes irritates me when I ask him to do something. His answer is, "Maybe, maybe not." Jeremy Granger, a.k.a., King Maybe, is the ultimate in irritation and frustration. By not providing a definitive answer, he wields a blackmailing type of power over his subjects--those individuals who seek to have their movie scripts depicted on the big screen. If asked if I will read Timothy Hallinan's next Junior Bender novel, I can definitely answer, "Yes, I will. There are no maybes about it." Full of action, suspense, witty humor and bizarre characters, a Junior Bender novel is guaranteed to entertain all types of mystery fans.

Our Readers Respond

From: Timothy Hallinan:
Thank you so much. Reading this review was the first thing I did today, and the whole world looks brighter. I love the two-foot string of adjectives used to describe Hollywood.

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