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Coco Butternut

Coco Butternut

by Joe R. Lansdale

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Fans of Lansdale’s East Texas crime fighting duo, Hap Collins and Leonard Pine, will devour this off-beat, macabre novella. When Jimmy Farmer, the owner of Oak Rest mortuary and pet cemetery, hires Hap and Leonard to retrieve the stolen mummified remains of his mother’s beloved dog, Coco Butternut, things get weird fast. The kidnapper offers a ransom for the dead pet and meets our heroes at night to exchange the body for a bag of money. The transaction goes smoothly enough, but Leonard smells a rat when they’re given a full-size coffin, which contains a human corpse tucked underneath the dog in a hidden compartment. When they race over to Farmer’s house with their discovery, Hap and Leonard find Farmer bludgeoned to death. As they investigate, the boys learn that all is not as it appears at Oak Rest and that even more secrets might be lurking among the tombstones. Lansdale (Honky Tonk Samurai) is without peer when it comes to this kind of tale, and the result is an infectious, darkly funny slice of weirdness. Agent: Danny Baror, Baror International. (Jan.)
Kirkus Reviews
What could be more featherweight than a tale of dognapping? How about a dognapping whose victim is already dead and buried?Not that you asked, but Coco Butternut was the beloved pet of Jimmy Farmer’s late mother. Jimmy was very attached to the parent who left him a big chunk of the mortuary, cemetery, and pet cemetery she owned, and she was very attached to her prize dachshund. Nothing was too good for Coco Butternut, even after she died, so Ms. Farmer had her mummified and buried on the premises. Now someone has dug up the dead pooch and is holding her for ransom, and Jimmy wants Hap Collins and Leonard Pine, in their capacity as operatives for the detective agency owned and operated by Hap’s lover, Brett Sawyer (Honky Tonk Samurai, 2016), to exchange a satchel of cash for the purloined coffin. What could possibly go wrong? There are only two indications that the assignment may be less routine than Jimmy’s indicated: the satchel, when Hap and Leonard pick its lock, turns out to be stuffed with $100,000, which seems a mite high for even the nicest dead dog in the world; and the coffin, when they exchange the cash for it with a masked man in yet another cemetery, seems a mite big to hold nothing but a dachshund. Mulling over the implications of their peek inside the coffin, Hap and Leonard report back to their client and find him beaten to death—a sure indication that there’s more at stake here than the eternal repose of Coco Butternut. This bite-sized addition to Lansdale’s droll franchise gives his two heroes little room for their trademark back-and-forth banter. But the slide from fizzy East Texas comedy to deeper waters is so deftly managed that you’ll be chuckling all the way to the graveyard.

Product Details

Subterranean Press
Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Joe R. Lansdale (b. 1951) is the author of more than 40 novels and numerous short stories in a range of genres, including Western, horror, science fiction, mystery, and suspense. He has received the Edgar Award and eight Bram Stoker Awards, and several of his books have been adapted into films. He is best known for his Hap Collins and Leonard Pine mystery series, set in the fictional town of LaBorde in East Texas. He lives with his family in Texas.

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