Drop Dead, My Lovelyby Ellis Weiner
Meet Pete Ingalls, a private investigator who sets up shop in New York City and commences looking for trouble. He's got all the tough-talking cynicism of a battle-weary gumshoe who's seen it all. Except he hasn't seen it all. In fact, he hasn't seen anything-and remembers even less. In Pete Ingalls's deeply confused mind, he walks the streets like some kind of Philip… See more details below
Meet Pete Ingalls, a private investigator who sets up shop in New York City and commences looking for trouble. He's got all the tough-talking cynicism of a battle-weary gumshoe who's seen it all. Except he hasn't seen it all. In fact, he hasn't seen anything-and remembers even less. In Pete Ingalls's deeply confused mind, he walks the streets like some kind of Philip Marlowe clone. And everyone he meets thinks he's putting them on. Lucky for Ingalls, he's got a secretary-Stephanie Constantino, an aspiring actress in need of a day job. She's got a mouth that doesn't quit-with Ingalls, his clients, cops, or killers. But she has nice gams, and (unlike her boss) a real talent for solving crimes. It's Pete Ingalls' first case-and whodunit is only half the story.
Meet the Author
Ellis Weiner was an editor of National Lampoon and a columnist for Spy. He has written humor pieces for The New Yorker, Paris Review, New York Times Magazine, Air & Space, and Modern Humorist. He is the author of The Joy of Worry (illustrated by Roz Chast), Decade of the Year, Letters From Cicely, and The Northern Exposure Cookbook, and is the co-author with Sydney Biddle Barrows of Mayflower Manners.
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This is a hard-boiled spoof of the wise-cracking detectives in the Dashiell Hammett vein. It is hilarious because the protaganist is the only one living in this imaginary world and no around him is quite sure what to make of him and his 1940's dialogue. I loved it!
When he wakes up in the hospital, Pete Ingalls thinks he¿s a private investigator and talks like a gumshoe out of a forties film. He has no memory of being a mild mannered hermetic bookstore clerk who had an accident when a pile of books fell on his head. His friend thinks he is putting him on but when he leaves the hospital, he opens up a PI office, places an ad in the newspaper, prints some business cards, and hires a secretary who wanders if her boss is legitimate or crazy. Actually Pete has two walk in cases that he eagerly grabs up. The first one involves Celeste Vroman who wants Pete to find her lover Jeff Litman who seems to have disappeared. He finds Jeff hiding at his office avoiding Celeste because he started an affair with Olivia Cartwright. His second case involves Catherine Flonger who thinks her TV reporter husband is cheating on her and wants proof. Neither case goes smoothly. Jeff disappears, Olivia is found murdered and Pete has a quickie with Catherine in a women¿s dressing room. It goes downhill from there. What makes DROP DEAD, MY LOVELY an outstanding reading experience is the hero is suffering from amnesia yet effortlessly becomes a private investigator modeling himself on tough PI¿s like Same Spade and Spencer. There is plenty of action because Pete manages to get himself in a lot of trouble while working on cases yet the best part of Ellis Weiner¿s novel is the dialogue. Pete sounds like an anachronistic Phillip Marlow clone in a twenty-first century context and that makes for a hilarious novel. Harriet Klausner