"Booted" is the story of Victor Barstow, a middle-aged man and father who, with his career and marriage falling apart, and after taking a job selling women's shoes in a mall, gets a chance at redemption. Thanks to a (possible) case of mistaken identity, all Victor has to do is persuade the Winklers, an eccentric family that makes exquisite hiking boots, to cede control of their century-old family business to him. And to do that, he needs to find a woman who might be dead, retrieve a family heirloom that might have vanished, and triumph over the gorgeous and ruthless representative of the world's foremost purveyor of outdoor gear.
In "Booted", Richard Bader cobbles together a delightful farce set in the cutthroat world of high-end footwear. I could well relate to our underemployed hero, Victor Barstow, whose mere presence is enough to turn any situation from uncomfortable to worse, as he navigates a world of corporate ambition, family secrets, femmes fatales, blizzards, blackouts, and even a second Victor Barstow, all in an unlikely bid to win control of the most exclusive boot making concern on the planet. Breezy and deadpan, witty and lusty, and full of twists you'll never see coming, "Booted" is the kind of novel they don't make enough of anymore. It had me hooked - heart and sole." -William Shunn, author of The Accidental Terrorist.
Richard Bader grew up north of Baltimore, moved away for college, and then circled the U.S. for a couple of decades during which he worked as, among other things, a restaurant cook and a whitewater rafting guide. He made his way back east and eventually launched a business helping nonprofit organizations tell their stories. At other times he makes up stories of his own. His fiction has been published by a variety of literary magazines and by National Public Radio. This is his first novel. He lives with his wife not far from where he started out, in Towson, Maryland.