Tchaikovsky Sounds Funny: Book Review: "Murder at Cleaver Stadium"

Is this where I put in key words such as sex, lesbians, vampires, Christopher Lloyd and others things to which this blog do not pertain, but by putting them here, I may get hits from all the Christoper Lloyd lesbian vampire fans (and you know who you are)? This is the primarily humorous and occasionally rambling writings of Leon Tchaikovsky, humor writer. Enjoy.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Book Review: "Murder at Cleaver Stadium"

Tchaikovsky Sounds Funny

Douglas Lee Gibboney, noted Harrisburg lobbyist, has written a murder-detective novel that provides Harrisburg locals lots of inside chuckles. After all, there is absolutely no semblance between this book and reality. There is no such place as Ben State ("If God isn’t a Ben State fan, why is the grass green?") with a Cleaver Stadium, or people shopping at a place called Dwarf Foods, or any possibility that a State Senator could be above suspicion. Further, there could never have been a State Senator who billed the state for dinner expenses for "monkey business" with an attractive woman.

So, we let these things that are totally the creation of the author’s imagination take us into a world where a lobbyist is murdered. Which is totally beyond imagination: no one would ever want to murder a lobbyist. This, of course, despite the joke: what is the difference between being a lobbyist and being a criminal lawyer? A criminal lawyer knows at least some of his clients are innocent. But I digress.

The book takes us into that bizarre world of the State Senate, where we read of fictional Senators with toupees that could double as birds’ nests. Although the author describes the Capitol as having "all the ambiance of a high class English brothel-everything you need for good lawmaking" and creates characters such as a woman who smokes cigarettes only after a romantic interlude, so it is joked she’s down to a pack a day, an excellent murder mystery evolves.

Indeed, there are two possible murders. There are several suspects, including the lobbyist and a local bookie, with both working to prove they both are innocent, which keeps the reader guessing. Plus, the book asks that intriguing question: when two separate people confess to a murder, which is the killer or, indeed, could neither have been the killer?

There is a good mystery. Capitol insiders will enjoy looking for recognizable references. Most should enjoy this book.


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