Hot Sinatra by Axel Howerton begins with Moss Cole, a private detective who is interviewing his newest client. Obadiah Stetch is a bad guy, but Cole needs the money and agrees to do the job. He needs to find a Sinatra record that was stolen right off of his wall. Cole soon meets the daughter and grand daughter, Rose and Holly, respectively. Soon afterward, he is kidnapped by a couple of goons, Artie Menlowe and Jurgen Kierkedoek, who generally go by those stage names Manlove and Kickerdick. We find out that they've been hired by the mob. As Cole continues to investigate, things get tougher and tougher.
So, the story of how I came to Hot Sinatra by Axel Howerton is a little bit long. Originally, I made a comment on a post made by the author on the Coffin Hop Press blog. Soon after, I was sent an email from the author offering me a coupon code to A Very Merry Manlove & Kickerdick Xmess. Soon after, I also found that 999 Problems: A Manlove & Kickerdick Trick was available free on Amazon. Manlove and Kickerdick, just to exaplin if you don't know, are two characters who appear in Hot Sinatra and then get there own spin off series, though the few stories so far are very short. I quite liked both of those short stories, because of both the writing style and characters. So I went online to Book Depository and ordered Hot Sinatra. I've given it a read today and the following is pretty much mostly my opinion.
The general plot was fairly original. The majority of private detective novels I've generally read deal with murders, kidnappings and thefts of jewels. So, the fact that a one-of-a-kind record had been stolen and was the main plot device was fairly unique to me. It also allowed for various conversations events between characters that kept the story going, where each character would add their own unique take on what they felt about Sinatra and their own opinions about the record. The speed of the plot seems reasonable, though it does take place over a short amount of time- only several days. I think that the plot and timing work well for the book.
The characters are mostly unique as well. I think that the majority of what made them so special was that the author didn't hold back. Admittedly, I've not read much of his other work, only the Manlove & Kickerdick stories apart from this novel. However, the thing that makes Axel Howerton such a good author is that he makes everything so ridiculous. It's difficult to explain, but he just takes all sorts of quirks and characteristics, giving them to an almost normal character and it makes them all quite interesting. Given so many of these quirks can make some characters extremely interesting, my favourites being Menlowe and Kierkedoek, and those are examples of whom I'd like to see a heap more of. However, in other cases, I don't think some characters work as well. Danny Fox, AKA Foxy Thunders, has been one of Cole's best (and sometimes only) friends for years. He's actually a fairly straight forward character, compared to some of the others; a rock star whom everyone loves and he does the general famous person stuff like drinking and being with lots of women. He's fairly normal, but I don't particularly like the way he appears through much of the story, despite having nothing much to do. I liked Rose; I think her character was fairly believable.
As for the main character, Cole, I found that I sometimes liked him, but not all the time. Many of his thoughts and portions of his back story were interesting, but some could be a bit tiresome. There were a lot of special moments that I really enjoyed with him, some of which when he was thinking about his grandfather, others when he was thinking about Holly. There were a lot of portions that I quite liked.
Overall, I liked the book. I think that Axel Howerton is quite a good author and has a very unique way of writing. I think that reading more investigations of Moss Cole would be interesting.