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Choke: An Imogene Duckworthy Mystery
A total delight! Laugh-out-loud dialogue, adorable characters, and a truly original voice. Fresh, feisty and hilarious. More, please. by Hank Phillippi Ryan Anthony, Agatha and Macavity winning author
Twenty-two-year-old Imogene Duckworthy is waiting tables at Huey's Hash in tiny Saltlick, TX, itching to jump out of her rut and become a detective. When Uncle Huey is found murdered in the diner, a half-frozen package of mesquite-smoked sausage stuffed down his throat, Immy gets her chance. Immy's mother, Hortense is hauled in for the crime. Unclear of the exact duties of a PI, Immy starts a fire in the bathroom wastebasket to bust Mother out of jail. On the run from the law with her mother and her toddler daughter, Nancy Drew Duckworthy, Immy wonders, now what?
"That's it, Uncle Huey!" Imogene Duckworthy whipped off her apron and flung it onto the slick, stainless steel counter. "I quit!" If only her voice didnít sound so young. Her order pad, pencil, even the straws skittered out of their pouches and across the floor. She took a step back, her shoes sticking to the trod-upon-after-lunch debris of squished lettuce, blobs of gravy, and bits of unidentifiable brown stuff.
"You can't quit, darlin'," drawled Uncle Huey in that thin, nasal voice that made him seem six inches shorter than his five-ten. "You're family." He dipped a scoop of mashed potatoes onto a plate, ladled thick brown gravy on top, and handed it to the cook.
"I'm not working double shifts again next week." Immy hoped she sounded serious. Mature. Convincing.
"Well, you'll just have to, won't you? Since Xenia just quit on me today, you and April are all the waitresses I've got left."
Clem, the portly cook, piled the hot plate with thick slabs of meatloaf, spooned green beans beside them, and shoved it into April's waiting hands. Immy hadn't eaten lunch yet, and the oniony smell of the meatloaf kicked up some saliva under her tongue. She watched April swing through the double doors and glimpsed the whitewashed dining room full of scarred wooden tables and chairs, almost empty of customers now.
Sheíd worked and played in this restaurant her entire twenty-two years. It had been started by her grandparents and handed down to her father and her uncle. Since her fatherís death, of course, Uncle Huey had run it alone.
Would she miss this place? Maybe, but she was quitting anyway.
Review: CHOKE by Kaye George
Mainly Murder Press, LLC
$14.95 (soft cover)
Reviewed by Laura Hartman
Kaye George has a recipe for success with her Imogene Duckworthy mystery Choke. Imogene Ė Immy to her family and friends Ė quits her job working for at her slimy uncleís diner in hopes of following her dream to become a private eye. How hard can it be? Immy watches PI shows on TV and even reads The Moronís Compleat PI Guidebook for tips and tricks of the trade.
She jumps into her new career with both feet in mismatched shoes when Uncle Huey turns up murdered and her mother is the main suspect. Immy breaks her mom out of jail and they go on the lamb while Immy searches for the real killer. The sharp contrast of Hortenseís propensity for ten dollar words when discussing everyday things and Immyís new PI lingo made me laugh out loud more than once.
This quick cozy is entertaining and often tongue-in-cheek. Subtle jokes make me chuckle like Immyís late fatherís name, Louis and her Uncleís name Huey. All we need is Dewey and we have all three of Donald Duckís nephews. Very fitting names for a Duckworthy family. Immyís daughter is named Nancy Drew Duckworthy, again perfect for the daughter of a want-to-be detective.
Stephanie Plum needs to watch out for the new PI in town, Immy has all the charm and the right touch of zaniness to take over as top duck with her mixture of armchair detection and just enough knowledge to get herself in trouble without even trying. Mix in the small town cast of characters, a couple of possible love interests that popped up in Choke and we are on the way to books that readers canít wait to get their hands on next in the series.
Copyright © 2011 Laura Hartman
Fran Lewis rated it
Author: Kaye George
Reviewed by Fran Lewis
Everyone has a dream job that they really want. Some want to become lawyers, others doctors and one young girl wants nothing more than to become a Private Investigator. Immy has a goal not quit her job as a waitress, go back to school and learn about becoming a Private Eye and following her dreams. But, fate steps in and plays its own hand and what happens changes the course of her life and her motherís too. When the Chief of Police comes to question her mother she decides itís time to try out what she hopes will be her new PI skills that she hopes to learn from reading The Moronís Compleat Guide to Becoming a PI in order words PI for Dummies. So, armed with her book and her notepad Imogene is going to investigate her Uncle Hueyís murder, which is why the Police Chief came to her door. It seems after she left the diner and quit her job there someone came in and killed her uncle by stuffing a bag of frozen sausages down his throat. Not that original but nonetheless quite effective.
Questioning the girl who works in the beauty parlor, getting her hair done and then finding one of the deputies Immy hopes to build her own case and find out who killed her Uncle and why her mother was taken in by the Chief to be questioned or maybe arrested. But, there is much more to this hilarious story. Imagine Immy as a PI working in a PIís office. Then, Immy remembers what happened to her father and wonders what why her mother is still at the police station for so many hours. Finding out what happened to her uncle she more facts about the murder and the robbery that took place at the same time.
Taking her trusty Moronís Compleat PI Guide, she goes off to the station to come up with a plan to get her mother out and solve the crime. A fast thinking Immy, one swift getaway and the two women are as she puts it on the lam. Just picturing the two of them running out of the station after setting of the fire alarm is hilarious. Referring to another book she learns about the use of disguises in order to escape the law. She and Hortense, her mother hold up in a motel, she sneaks back into their house gets some clothes has someone buy some stuff at a costume store and the rest well you wonít believe it. It you can picture this you will definitely crack more than just a smile and really fall in love with these two zany women as they try to prove Who Killed Uncle Huey using the two clues at hand. One is the sausage and the other a footprint of a cowboy boot which leads are prospective PI to list every male and even some females in town. Cowboy boots are the norm for those living there. So Who Killed Huey? Well Xenia the waitress quit the same day Immy did over her last pay check. Her boyfriend Frankie is angry since she lost control of her car and is in critical condition in the hospital. Clem works there but did he do it? The suspect list is short and the two main suspects are Immy and her mother according to the police. The rest remains to be seen as I continue my review of this very creative and funny novel Choke. I guess thatís what happened when they stuffed the sausage down poor Uncle Hueyís throat he did more than CHOKE!
The fun is still not over as Immy returns to the scene of the crime, calls in an anonymous tip, and gets someone hauled in and goes to visit another in the hospital. Fleeing again going back to the motel Immy after getting more provisions, reads the newspaper and forget that the chili is cooking and instead well you guessed it our girls started another fire and this time it was their motel. But, fret not out of every bad incident the police will find their own hot lining of meth being made in one of the rooms occupied by one her Immyís so called friends. Poor Baxter just wanted to cook up some meth instead he got cooked. So, where are our two jailbirds now? You wonít believe where they escaped to or how. More clues need to be processed and more plans worked out, as our PI hopeful will not give up until she clears her motherís name. So, why did Xenia return to the diner? Did she know Hugh was dead? What part does Frankie play and whom does he want Uncle Guido to whack? Just wait and see.
One fast paced novel that will keep the reader on his/her toes enjoying the action and waiting to find out what our Immy will come up with next. Clues that are scant, yet there. Determined to use her PI books to help solve the case before he big interview with the PI firm the following week, just what will keep these two out of the lockup?
The misunderstanding mount up. Immy starts her new job thinking she is going out on her first case but instead gets bogged down with typing invoices and paperwork which is definitely not in either one of her manuals. The suspect list includes Xenia, Clem, Hortense, Immy, Baxter and even Uncle Guido and Frankie. Who killed Uncle Huey and why you have to find out for yourself before you get tangle up in one of her wild plans or schemes? Just how she goes about figuring it out you wonít believe and I wonít tell you. Letís just say her PI skills are not too bad for a beginner and maybe the police department needs to hire her to replace their desk person Tabitha. Filled with manic, mayhem and much more Imogene Duckworthy is a force to be reckoned with and takes on life by a storm. With a mother who uses vocabulary that stumps her and needs to be defined, a little girl named Drew who is totally precious and adorable our Immy is one great gal whose persistence, drive and wild ideas just might get her killed or maybe a PIís license. Does Xenia ever wake up from her coma? What role does Frankie play if any in getting poor Immy in trouble and what role does Baxter play? This you need to read and find out for yourself. This is a great debut novel with a great new character who is quite different than most PIís. Letís hope she comes back soon. Great characters that are well defined and really quite unique and a Police Chief and assistant you have to love, canít wait for the next one. A definite must read for mystery lovers.
Fran Lewis: reviewer
Immy Duckworthy, would-be sleuth.
Immy Duckworthy, would-be sleuth. May 31, 2011
By Diana M. Hockley
Imogen Duckworthy - love the name - and her mother, the eccentric Hortense, go on the lam after being suspected of causing her Uncle Hugh's death by ramming a frozen sausage down his throat. Imogen's teenage dreams of becoming a private detective, ala Nancy Drew, appear to be within reach, aided by the purchase of old-style text books on solving crime. To Immy's delight, this ambition becomes a reality, when she is achieves an interview and then employment in a real private investigator's office. However, the experience is somewhat of a shock to Immy, who imagined she would be a fully qualified PI the first day of her employment.
Nothing daunted, she forges ahead with her investigation and the suspects mount up, as Ms Duckworthy tries various ways of avoiding the law, employing some dubious disguises.
Kay George's naive and likeable young female sleuth grapples - literally, in the case of the delectable Baxter and figuratively - with some rather seedy characters before all is revealed. Although I picked the murderer out early in the piece, I was mistaken by which of her suitors eventually wins Immy and her daughter, Drew.
Overall, a funny, energetic, good natured read, particularly for young women who will relate to Immy's outlook on life.
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