Shoveling Smoke

Shoveling Smoke

3.9 97
by Austin Davis
     
 

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Reveling in outrageous shenanigans and hilariously off-kilter characters, Shoveling Smoke does for East Texas what Carl Hiaasen's novels do for South Florida. Burned-out corporate lawyer Clay Parker chucks it all and moves from Houston to a tiny firm in a dusty small town, searching for his lost integrity and a simpler life. Instead, he lands in the middle of

Overview

Reveling in outrageous shenanigans and hilariously off-kilter characters, Shoveling Smoke does for East Texas what Carl Hiaasen's novels do for South Florida. Burned-out corporate lawyer Clay Parker chucks it all and moves from Houston to a tiny firm in a dusty small town, searching for his lost integrity and a simpler life. Instead, he lands in the middle of a bungled fraud case defending the disreputable and downright nasty Bevo Rasmussen, accused of torching the stables housing his over-insured thoroughbreds. Immediately confronted with corrupt officials, crazed survivalists, an incompetent hit man, an emu, and a naked county clerk, along with an assortment of vengeful wives and great barbecue, Clay discovers that nothing is what it seems to be. By the end, our hero gets way more than he bargained for, justice (Texas-style) gets served, and the reader gets a laugh-out-loud first novel.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A Houston lawyer's attempt to escape the rat race backfires with hilarious results in Davis's thoroughly enjoyable debut crime novel. Sardonic Clay Parker's new job in the tiny East Texas town of Jenks gets off to a bumpy start when he has to fetch one of his two bosses, Gill Stroud, from jail (where he's been sleeping off a whopping bender) and help him sober up in time to win a murder trial. His next assignment is even tougher: defending sleazy Bevo Rasmussen (Parker calls him a "shady little buccaneer," but takes note of the razor hidden in his sock), who's accused of setting fire to a barn full of prized thoroughbreds for the insurance money. Romance enters the picture when Parker falls for a powerful, sexy court clerk named Sally Dean, whose father happens to be a horse-trading kingpin with links to Rasmussen and tentacles extending into virtually every major criminal enterprise in the county. As Parker works feverishly to prepare for trial, his efforts are hindered by his rambunctious, bumbling partners: Stroud can't lay off the juice, and his partner, Hardwick Chandler, shows an equal passion for womanizing. Davis uses his quirky characters to capture the seat-of-the-pants flavor of law in a Texas backwater, and the charming but somewhat kinky romance between Parker and Dean works as a nice counterpoint to the legal shenanigans. The going's a little rough in spots, but Parker is an engaging protagonist whose humor and savvy easily carry the inaugural volume of this promising series. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"...hilarious...thoroughly enjoyable....Parker is an engaging protagonist whose humor and savvy easily carry the inaugural volume of this promising series." -Publishers Weekly "

If you think lawyers can't possibly be funny, read Shoveling Smoke, which is fast, well-plotted, and hilarious besides." -Ed McBain "

A fast-moving story, a fascinating book." -Richard "Racehorse" Haynes Publishers Weekly

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781452125022
Publisher:
Chronicle Books LLC
Publication date:
10/19/2012
Series:
Clay Parker Series
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
226,630
File size:
504 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Richard "Racehorse" Haynes
A fast-moving story, a fascinating book.
Ed McBain
If you think lawyers can't possibly be funny, read Shoveling Smoke, which is fast, well-plotted, and hilarious besides.

Meet the Author

Austin Davis is a native Texan. This is his first novel.

Customer Reviews

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Shoveling Smoke 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 97 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have not read a book this funny in years! I read the entirety in one sitting, reading half of it out loud to my husband who was rolling off the couch laughing. This book is not shallow humor, though. The authors delve into serious topics - ethics, religion, politics - with depth, wisdom, and thoughtfulness. They explore the obvious flaws of main characters Gilliam Stroud and Hardwick Chandler, as well as the deeper and more perverse flaws of pious Paul Primrose or respected Stan-the-Man Pulaski. And the ending! The plot has more twists than a crooked East Texas road! Each one is more surprising and surreal than the last, yet completely believable. I shut the book feeling completely satisfied that justice prevailed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My husband and I read, laughed at, and thoroughly enjoyed these people. I worked in legal offices in Oklahoma for a number of years and didn't have to stretch my imagination a bit to believe the characters were real people. What a wonder story teller Austin Davis is. Really hope there are more manuscripts already written just waiting to be published.
granmouse More than 1 year ago
Funniest book I've ever read. Could not put it down. If you work for anytype of court system, law enforcement, or attorneys you will enjoy this book. Shoveling Smoke would make an excellant movie. My favorite book of all times.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was one that you can't put down. Great first novel, can't wait for the next adventures of Clay Parker.
graceprimo More than 1 year ago
Do not like the cavalier approach to horse abuse
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
HILARIOUS!! This was really a fun read. Hope to see Clay and the gang again, soon. If you can't laugh with this book, you are a hopeless.
BookwomanNC More than 1 year ago
Such a fun story filled with eccentric characters and culture. Looking forward to more!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While I enjoyed a lot of the punch lines
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The stlry was
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
FUN read with unexpected twists and turns.
LindalovestoreadLR More than 1 year ago
This book was an absolute delight. Read it! I hope the author writes more.
walc More than 1 year ago
Trevor George More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
GhostReader3 More than 1 year ago
I loved reading it. It was fast paced and kept the reader moving to see what happens next. It was also very informative into horse trading and the big world of insurance. I love reading books pertaining to the law and how it is applied.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
FUN TO READ
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Different with a surprise end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book was funny, but the plot lagged on. During some parts, I wondered what the point of the book was. I laughed out loud in some parts. Davis is a writer who we will probably see more of, and once polished, he will be rise in future ranks.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
(If you're not familiar with that name, he writes comedies about the residents of So. Florida.) Right out of the gate, with this being Austin Davis' FIRST BOOK, he puts Carl Hiassen on notice that he has some BIG TIME competition. Great story line, fantastic characters, wonderful reading experience. This book made me laugh out loud, not just once, but numerous times, and read sections to my husband, just to hear him laugh, even though he had no idea what the book was about, he thought it was funny, too. Do your funnybone a favor and READ THIS BOOK!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago