Eric Garcia Casual Rex

ISBN 13: 9780007106646

Casual Rex

3.69 avg rating
( 398 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780007106646: Casual Rex

Detective Vincent Rubio and his partner, Ernie, manage to maintain their anonymity thanks to special latex costumes that allow them to pass for humans. But many of their dinosaur brethren are tired of fitting in and have formed a back-to-basics cult — whose members are mysteriously dying.

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Review:

There are any number of ways to approach Hollywood Boulevard, but for pure shock value, the key is to strike at the heart of the beast, right where the cheese factor is the highest: the intersection of Hollywood and Highland Avenue. That's Limburger, baby, with a side of extra stink.
With this kind of snappy commentary, Vincent Rubio may seem like your average hard-boiled, cold-blooded Los Angeles PI. But as Eric Garcia's legions of fans already know from Anonymous Rex, Vincent is anything but average--though he is cold-blooded. Garcia's conceit, so cleverly fashioned that it seems oddly natural, is that dinosaurs never really became extinct and that your next-door neighbor might just be a T. rex in a latex costume. It's a twist that allows Garcia to poke fun at our human quirks ("Ankylosaurs have difficulty expressing emotion visually. Think Al Gore."), but it doesn't detract in the slightest from his well-paced, drolly comic noir.

In Casual Rex, a prequel to the first novel, Vincent, a velociraptor, gets conned into helping out his partner Ernie's ex-wife Louise. Ernie still can't resist Louise's "lilac and warm oatmeal" pheromone signature and crocodile tears (almost literally, since Louise is "one of those unfortunate dinosaurs for whom the lachrymal glands are still overproductive, even after millions of years of evolution worked this kink out of the rest of our systems"). When she comes to the agency with a story of her younger brother Rupert's involvement in a dino cult, the pair quickly find themselves masquerading as cult members, or Progressives. The Progressives are intent on reclaiming their dinosaur ancestry, or as they put it, "becoming 100% Dinosaur Natural."

The smooth talk and the stunning beauty of cult leader Circe, whose velociraptor pores emit a dizzying scent of rosemary, fennel, and thyme (all powerful dino intoxicants), fascinates even skeptical Vincent. But it quickly becomes apparent that something dangerous is simmering beneath the surface of the cult. The only question is whether Vincent and Ernie will figure out what's going on before they become 100% Dinosaur Dead.

Garcia's first novel became something of a cult item in its own right. Fans will be happy to know that Casual Rex delivers the goods again; it's funny enough to render the sophomore jinx extinct. --Kelly Flynn

From the Inside Flap:

In 1999, Eric Garcia made his mark with one of the most striking mystery debuts of the year, Anonymous Rex, hailed as a dino-mite detective yarn by People, inventive and imaginative by USA Today, and a fresh and antic comic thriller by The Seattle Times. Now, with Casual Rex, the sharpest dinosaur-detective in Los Angeles is back, funnier and grittier than ever, for the next tale in this acclaimed series.

Vincent Rubio is a private eye, working the angles in Los Angeles with his partner, Ernie. They've got the usual problems bills, bum cases, woman troubles. But being dinosaurs is not a problem, as long as their latex disguises fit properly.

Not all dinosaurs agree. Some have joined a mysterious back-to-basics movement led by a beautiful and beguiling Velociraptor to help dinosaurs find themselves, let their tails hang out, and roam about as they really are. When a member of this cult dies under suspicious circumstances, Vincent and Ernie must investigate, while simultaneously handling the case of the missing Mussolini the theft of a rare and priceless prosthetic penis treasured in the dinosaur community.

With Casual Rex, Eric Garcia takes readers even more deeply into this warped underworld and succeeds in making it all believable. The result is a novel that is as hilarious and entertaining as it is original.

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