Wednesday, October 01, 2008


By N.M. Kelby

Admittedly, I have a bit of a bee in my bonnet about critics who assume that funny novels are by definition "light," and somehow lacking in value. Likewise, I'm grateful for reviewers who take the time between laughs to see the long list of attributes so many funny novels offer.

I was especially pleased to see Nic Kelby's new novel, MURDER AT THE BAD GIRL'S BAR & GRILL, get rave reviews. And not just because adore Nic (although I do!). But because it's truly so much more than just howlingly funny. It's fast and furious, lyrical and creative, and filled with some of the most memorable characters in the murder mystery genre.

And did I mention plot? This glowing review from The Plain Dealer will give you some insight:

Murder at the Bad Girl's Bar and Grill (Shaye Areheart, 291 pp., $23). Writer N.M. Kelby has pulled off the most entertaining mystery of the year so far, with a kicky title that doesn't begin to hint how clever it is.

In the first chapter, hissing carrion give away the location of a dead body - a trash bin outside a good-time bar in the retirement village of Laguna Key. Nearby are a not-so-hot Barry Manilow impersonator, a bar owner who once reigned as scream queen of Hollywood horror films, a shockingly handsome puppeteer, two elderly Swedish cheerleaders whose only English is "Ta da," and a pet vulture kept on a leash.

Kelby writes lyrically. In Laguna Key, "everything seems bleached to the bone: the people, the streets, the sidewalks, the endless miles of picket fences." Stuffed with fascinating subplots and technicolor characters, this book's prose is the real jewel. I'm searching for all of Kelby's earlier work.

I hope you'll look for N.M. Kelby's MURDER AT THE BAD GIRL'S BAR & GRILL the next time you're at your local bookstore. Or, pop over to, or and order your copy today. (Lovers of strange mistakes should definitely click in to Amazon to see if they can spot the typo in the title.) For more information, visit Nic's website at

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