Title: Basket Case
Publication Date: 2002
Book Condition: Collectible: Like New
Dust Jacket Condition: Like New
Signed: Signed by Author
Edition: First Edition.
Signed by author on title page without inscription. First Edition as stated. Bookseller Inventory # 8-2-45
Synopsis: Once a hotshot investigative reporter, Jack Tagger now bangs out obituaries for a South Florida daily, plotting to resurrect my newspaper career by yoking my byline to some famous stiff. Jimmy Stoma, the infamous front man of Jimmy and the Slut Puppies, dead in a fishy-smelling scuba accident, might be the stiff of Jack s dreams if only he can figure out what happened.
Standing in the way are (among others) his ambitious young editor, who hasn t yet fired anyone but plans to break her cherry on Jack; the rock star s pop-singer widow, who s using the occasion of her husband s death to re-launch her own career; and the soulless, profit-hungry owner of the newspaper, whom Jack once publicly humiliated at a stockholders meeting.
With clues from the dead rock singer s music, Jack ultimately unravels Jimmy Stoma s strange fate in a hilariously hard-won triumph for muckraking journalism, and for the death-obsessed obituary writer himself.
Always be halfway prepared is Jack Tagger s motto and it s more than enough to guarantee a wickedly funny, brilliantly entertaining novel from Carl Hiaasen.
Review: Take one dead rock & roll star, his Courtney Love-type widow, the mysterious deaths of his former bandmates, and the lost tracks of a comeback album. Stir in Jack Tagger, a middle-aged investigative reporter obsessed with death since his banishment to the obit desk; a fetching young editor with a yen for our hero; and a boss looking for a reason to fire him. Put them in the hands of a master like Carl Hiaasen, who adds his trademark flourishes (who else would use a frozen lizard as a weapon?) to a creaky plot like this one, and the result is a winner. Florida is full of caper writers with journalistic credentials, and plenty of them have a deft hand with quirky characters, but no one in the genre is better than Hiaasen. --Jane Adams
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