As with other LadyKillers this week, I’m hard-pressed to pick my favorite book of 2016. I read many excellent books last year, but I’m afraid the ones I finished early in the year are all but forgotten, and even the ones in the second half are starting to get fuzzy in my memory.
Fortunately, one book does come to mind: New Tricks by David Rosenfelt. Was it the best book ever written? No (although it was definitely well-written). Did the book change my life forever? Probably not. But when I finished reading it, I immediately went online to see if it was a stand-alone book or part of a series, something I rarely do. Imagine my delight to discover that not only is it part of a series that has been around for years, but Mr. Rosenfelt has written lots more.
What I enjoyed most about the book was the humor. It’s the kind of humor that made me laugh out loud as I was reading, even causing me to reread paragraphs I found particularly funny.
As part of the humor, the main character has a refreshing lack of machoness. I’m so used to the men in detective novels being strong and brave and able to withstand the most brutal of beatings, that it caught me off guard when the protagonist admitted openly that he was a coward. He avoids danger at all costs, stands there in shock when bullets fly by him, and even had to be rescued from a pimp by his girlfriend. While I don’t usually find wimps appealing, somehow it works for this guy.
I have since read another book in the series and found it as consistently funny as the first. My local library has the majority of the series, and all of the books are still in print so I can buy the ones the library doesn’t carry. This means I have reading material for the first several weeks of 2017, if not longer.
After that, I’ll be on the lookout for the next great author.