There’s something fishy going on in the backwater town of Wanaduck, Washington, population 879, er, 878. Make that 850. Anthony “Juice” Verrone, former Mafia enforcer and guest of the Witness Security Program, is trying to hide from the Family he sent up the river. When a giant hot dog, a fiberglass bass, and a plummeting corpse put the squeeze on Juice, he thinks he’s been found out. Juice teams up with Rudy Touchous, a forensic accountant, and Police Chief Dickie Gordon, to track down the killer. Instead, they run head-on into a public utility in desperate financial straits, a local troop of NASCAR-addled, bass-fishing rednecks with odd literary aspirations, and a vegetarian commune, which, in its dedication to the well-being of plants, is tossing more than lettuce into its salad bar. And what is that secret ingredient in their all-vegetarian hotdogs? The Utility’s plans leak, so they bring in a strange parade of hired guns to make sure the people who know too much can’t say anything. When these players mix it up at the Asparagus Festival a conflagration ignites that changes everything. Can Juice go back to being a regular guy? Or does he find out that he can hide, but he can’t just disappear?
This book was a real surprise for me. It has the perfect mixture of funny and thrill. Mob hitmen, corporate espionage, clowns and vegetarian drug distributers all play a part here. There are other surprising characters too. I literally laughed so hard I had sore stomach muscles and tears in my eyes. The other part of the story, the murder mystery part, is fantastic too and really does keep you guessing until the surprising, and hilarious conclusion. I know absolutely nothing about fishing but I was completely drawn into this story, fishing and boats included. There are many unique characters and you get a little piece of each as you go along that just makes you want to know more. There’s just enough of a tease at the end to leave me hoping there will be more to Juice’s story!
James Ewing is a humor writer currently working on the sequel to Fresh Squeezed, his first novel written with co-author Bonnie Biafore. He also writes a weekly blog loosely based on the proposition that life is really much more absurd than we know. Several of his humorous articles based on his seven-year sailing adventure have been published in Latitudes & Attitudes magazine. He currently lives in western Washington State, isolated on an island, because it’s really better for everyone that way.
I have always been a zealous organizer, whether setting up software demos, cooking gourmet meals, or scheduling a vacation to test the waters of spontaneity. Ironically, fate, not planning, turned this obsession into a career as a project manager. I write about project management, small business accounting, personal finance, investing, and technology — and with the publication of my comedic crime novel, Fresh Squeezed, hit men and stupid criminals. I’m fascinated by how things work and how to make things work better. I hate reading dry-as-dust books about anything, especially project management and finance, so I try to spice up my writing with my warped sense of humor.