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Straight Talk about "Shoo Fly Pie"

Updated on August 31, 2009

Shoo Fly Pie by Tim Downs Publisher Simon & Schuster

Author Tim Downs has written a number of books, but this is his first in the “Bug Man” series. Due to the popularity of CSI type of programming and the fact that I have always been a true-crime reader, I decided to give Mr. Down’s a shot. And boy am I ever glad I did!

I don’t cry when I read novels, I can count on one hand in my life-time when I did – Gone With the Wind, Of Mice and Men and Francine River’s Mark of the Lion series and her Redeeming Love.

I can count even fewer novels where I have laughed out loud. Smile, chuckle even, but I’m talking about set the book down, and have to wipe my eyes, laugh. Tim Down’s Bug Man series can make me slap-my-knee laugh out loud. And yet, this series deals with grim often grisly forensic entomology which I have learned through these novels, is the study of insects that feed on cadavers. I have an intense dislike of bugs, but Nick Polchak – Down’s protagonist, is a funny, often glib very unlikely hero obsessed with bugs and I enjoy all the different aspects of this character.

I have read each of the books in this series and have the latest on order and if he writes more, I’m certain I’ll buy those too. Talk about a good mystery! Talk about fast action! The story is difficult to figure out, even for the most seasoned arm-chair sleuths. And Downs doesn’t rush his endings. But you’ll want to rush to the ending yourself because he leads the reader on an exciting mystery tour until you reach the satisfying conclusion. All of this with a few laughs, shockers and twists thrown into the mix.

I like Nick Polchak,- I care about what happens to him and marvel how he solves the crime – just as if he was a real person. He is by no means your typical handsome fictional hero, and I think that’s part of what makes him so endearing.

Although I am squeamish about bugs, I’m glad I didn’t hesitate to jump into Tim Down's  Bug Man series. It’s great, fun mystery reading that should be pleasing to a reader of most any fiction genre.


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