Having reviewed two Junior Bender mysteries, and loved all of them, I’ve been looking at what it is about that series that appeals to me so much – other than award-winning Timothy Hallinan’s writing style, which is excellent. Not only are they entertaining but they ring true.
Anyone who’s worked in any way with the entertainment industry knows it has an underbelly, and it usually doesn’t take long to come face to face with it at one level or another. Then your values get tested. The other aspect to this is that Junior is doing what everyone else in Los Angeles is doing, hustling for all he’s worth to keep his head above water. Now most people in LA do that in more legit jobs but Junior’s a burglar with a heart. He’s an Everyman who took a left turn when most of us turn right…and he’s still a fun character because you never know what’s going to happen to him next.
Now that’s a long way around to introduce King Maybe, the new novel in the Junior Bender series – I think it’s #5. The 4th novel in the series won a Leftie Award – very cool – and has also been nominated for a Nero Award!
Any of this series’ books can be read as stand-alone novels, so no worries if you haven’t read the first four – except that, if you like Junior as much as I do, you’re going to want to get the others too. But even that won’t be a hardship because the prior e-books are bargain priced – Whoot! I’ve included links to the two prior books we’ve reviewed on this site at the end of this review, so you can get a glimpse at what they’re like.
Oh, and did I mention that one of you is going to win King Maybe? Even better, right?
Junior, as usual, owes some people and that means he’s got to do something he doesn’t really want to do. It should be a cakewalk but, life being life, it doesn’t turn out that way. How hard can it be to steal a postage stamp?
Now Junior’s a careful, deliberate burglar. He likes to plan things out thoroughly because he wants to get in, get what he needs, and then get out without anyone being the wiser. He had a duplicate stamp made at no small cost; one that should be an exact replica. He got in, found the stamp album, delicately lifted the original and inserted the duplicate…and only then did he discover that the dupe had a slight difference. Well hell, the whole point was that the collector wouldn’t notice the difference until or unless he had it re-appraised or tried to sell it. Too late now…
That should have been the clue that things were about to go rapidly downhill. This is no ordinary collector and his bodyguard is no one to mess with…and they come home while Junior is still inside. Word of warning: Never steal a postage stamp from an assassin or a hired killer – never.
Getting out of this killer’s house without getting killed is like a Keystone Cops routine on acid…all for a damn postage stamp! Of course it is a damn postage stamp worth a bloody fortune, and one that should square Junior’s account with at least one of his creditors, but still. What was he thinking?!
Have you ever had one of those nights when you wonder why you got into your profession? Well it’s definitely one of those nights for Junior. And what he doesn’t realize is that it’s only going to get much worse from there, because he’s set off a domino effect that could win a Guinness World Record.
And after a lot of twists and turns that make a pretzel look straight, Junior eventually ends up at a major motion picture studio, in the office of one of the most hated producers in town, the man known behind his back as King Maybe. He’s called King Maybe because he almost never says “yes” to a project and he never says “no” – instead he always says “maybe” and then revels in the power he has to resign wonderfully creative film projects into the dust file cabinets of Hollywood Purgatory…where they languish for years or even decades. Let’s just say that many a career has ended while someone waited for King Maybe to finally say yes.
Now one of those people who’ve been relegates to those file cabinets wants revenge. Will Junior get it for him or will the devious King Maybe get Junior? Has Junior finally crossed the wrong Hollywood mogul? Will this end his burglary days for good? Will it end him for good?
Junior really is an Everyman of the San Fernando Valley and Koreatown (don’t ask) variety, only he’s a burglar. He’s got his values, just like everyone else, and he is diligent about sticking to those values. And like everyone else, when he doesn’t stick to his values, they bite him in the butt. I’ve grown to really love the “regulars” in this series…bad boys with a heart of gold or just people trying to get through life the best way they know how…or maybe a bit of both.
I’m going to cut to the chase: I love King Maybe, and the whole Junior Bender series, and I can’t wait to read the next installment. Thank you, Timothy Hallinan for writing such an entertaining series. I laughed as much as I worried about whether Junior would make it out alive. What a romp! In case you haven’t guessed already, I recommend this series – yep, every book in it!
Can’t wait to read it? King Maybe is available in most formats from your favorite online bookseller. Just click on the link below to get it to read immediately!
I’d love to get your comments on King Maybe, Junior Bender, Timothy Hallinan and/or his other work, and/or this review.
One lucky reader will win an ARC (advance reading copy) of King Maybe by Timothy Hallinan!
1) The deadline for entries is Saturday night, 5/14/2016, at 11:59pm EDST. No entries after that date/time will be eligible.
2) This giveaway is open to entries with U.S. mailing addresses only because we do not ship books outside of the U.S.
3) Please note: You must be at least 15 years old to enter this particular giveaway.
4) You must use the Rafflecopter form. Even if leaving a comment is part of the giveaway, you must use the form in addition to leaving the comment for the comment to count as an entry.
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6) If you do not provide a complete mailing address in the Rafflecopter form, your entry will not be eligible. We will use your mailing address to ship your book to you. Please allow 2-3 weeks for book delivery.
7) That’s it – this is an easy giveaway, so have fun and best of luck!