Dan Johnson lives in San Francisco been writing professionally and semi-professionally for nearly ten years. He has written all kinds of things - a first novel, a fun little serial, web content for businesses, lots of trivia about burritos, articles, restaurant reviews, the odd book review and...oh yes...this new novel.
The Perplexing Problem of the Porcelain Banditsby Dan Johnson
Alex Baker is underemployed and undermotivated, until a cop shows up at his door with strange news about his former housemate, Brent. This is a story of baseball cards, the Chinese Mafia, and many conversations over drinks. If John D. Macdonald and Chuck Klosterman had ever met in San Francisco and shared a few too many glasses of Plymouth, this is the novel they would have written together.
- Wonderful Terrific Publishing
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.72(d)
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Mix the questionable death of a mysterious young entrepreneur, his unemployed housemate with an open agenda, and an illicit toilet-making business all together and you've got a mystery book (self-published, at that!) bursting with San Francisco flavor and modern charm. Alex Baker, the amateur detective, carries the story with his irresistable panache. Sharp dialogue, relevant humor, and a quirky cast of characters makes it difficult to put the book down. What struck me most often was the rich sense of place woven into each chapter. Almost every page offers a glimpse of the San Francisco scenery: the people, streets, neighborhoods, pubs, cafés, and conversation. I felt like pouring my own pitcher of Anchor Steam to complement the reading experience. In the end, the book's conclusion leaves you wanting more of Alex Baker's wit and good humor. I just hope the author has more mysteries in store for the young sleuth to solve.
If you love San Francisco and/or you love mysteries, you'll enjoy this book. The same is true if you like witty, clever writing and engaging characters. Alex, the main character, is a protagonist you don't see often--kind of cynical, extremely bright, with high expectations about how life could be, if only people didn't have the tendency to focus on the superficial. When his roommate dies suddenly, Alex is thrown into a bizarre series of circumstances that lead him on an investigative journey throughout San Francisco and results in the deepening of key relationships. Alex is interesting enough that it almost doesn't matter what story he's telling, but it happens that the story is totally entertaining.