Comedian Channing Hayes survived a tragic auto accident that claimed the life of his fiancée, Lauren. Physically and emotionally scarred, he’s put his performing career on hold, resigned to getting laughs vicariously as co-owner of The Last Laff Comedy Club. There, he instructs Lauren’s sister Heather in the fine art of stand-up.
When Heather skips out on her set during the club’s comedy showcase, Channing searches for his AWOL protégée. Then Heather’s ex-lovers start turning up dead—and Channing must fight to keep Heather from being the next hit in this deadly line-up.
About the Author
Alan Orloff is a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers and The Writer's Center in Bethesda, Md. He is the author of Diamonds for the Dead, an Agatha Award finalist for Best First Novel, and Killer Routine. Orloff earned a B.S. from the University of Maryland and an M.B.A. from MIT/Sloan. He resides in northern Virginia. For more information, visit him online at: AlanOrloff.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Look at the people around you. Repeated national surveys say the people you¿re looking at dread speaking in public more than flying, illness, terrorism, and even death. Comedian Jerry Seinfeld once summarized the data by quipping, ¿In other words, at a funeral, the average person would rather be in the casket than giving the eulogy.¿If the notion of speaking in front of any crowd intimidates you, imagine it¿s your job to make a paying audience full of expectant strangers ranging from mildly skeptical onlookers to immoderately inebriated hecklers laugh at your jokes. Keep that in mind when treating yourself to author Alan Orloff¿s mystery novel, ¿Killer Routine.¿ Set mostly in the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., ¿Killer Routine¿ is the first entry in Orloff¿s ¿Last Laff¿ series, spotlighting the amateur sleuthing of troubled stand-up comedian and comedy club-owner Channing Hayes. This well-written novel bursts open with the alarming disappearance of Heather Dempsey, Hayes¿ protégée (and sister of his late fiancée, Lauren), just before she¿s to make her debut appearance at Hayes¿ struggling suburban comedy club. Still reeling from Lauren¿s untimely death and while battling a hostile takeover attempt aimed at his nightclub, Hayes maneuvers among an escalating pile of lies and murders to find Heather and save her life before she¿s victimized in a twisted plot of cold vengeance. This is no funny story, no amusing satire -- the book's tone is dark, as are the natures of many of its principal characters. In addition to spinning a gripping mystery story, ¿Killer Routine¿ gives readers a fascinating glimpse into the daunting world inhabited by the men and women who stand alone sweating under piercing floodlights on unforgiving comedy stages the world over, desperately lunging for every laugh they can get.
Channing Hayes' is trying to help his almost sister-in-law begin a solo stand up comic career while he recovers from the accident that took his fiancee. On the night of her big break, she vanishes. Why? Can Channing find her? The characters were enjoyable, especially Channing, but the plot was a series of events with no real detective work involved.
"Killer Routine," the second mystery by Alan Orloff, certainly has a provocative title. The first in Orloff's Last Laff Mystery series, I wasn't sure if there was a serial killer lurking among its pages. What a relief to find out that he was writing about comedy routines instead of mass murder and mayhem. But comedy, I discovered in this book, is a serious business. In fact, many of the people trying so desperately to make a name for themselves in the field of stand-up comedy are really troubled souls. This is especially true of "Killer Routine's" leading character, Channing Hayes. Hayes has survived a tragic auto accident that claimed the life of his fiancée, Lauren. Physically and emotionally scarred-he lost several fingers in the accident-he's put his own promising comedic career on an indefinite hold and becomes co-owner of The Last Laff Comedy Club. One of the most promising up-and-coming comics at the club that Hayes mentors is his dead fiancée's sister, Heather. Then Heather disappears right before she's scheduled to make her comedy debut and Hayes, fearing he pushed her too far too fast, begins a search to find her. When Heather's ex-lovers start to turn up dead, well, as I said before, comedy is serious business. In Alan Orloff's first mystery, "Diamonds for the Dead," Orloff's protagonist goes on a journey and discovers things about a close family member that he never knew. In his second mystery, Orloff's protagonist goes on a similar journey, but this time discovers things about himself. Well plotted, great characters, and a promising beginning to a new series. Reviewed by Susan Santangelo author of "Moving Can Be Murder" for Suspense Magazine