Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Review # 175: Psyched Out by M.A. MacAfee

Description: (from Amazon)
     Can a human pacemaker implanted in a dog cause the animal to take on human traits? Absolutely! Ollie Kline would answer, and he ought to know. An aspiring psychic detective with a cardiac pacemaker, Ollie is killed in a drive-by shooting outside the Pastime where he tends bar. He awakes inside Mugsy, a pug dog, who also has a heart problem and who receives Ollie’s recycled pacemaker. Aware his cardiac device was stolen from his corpse, Ollie wonders what other body parts were taken. Ollie uses his telepathic powers to enlist the help of Nora Cole, the sister of Mugsy’s owner. On receiving Ollie’s thoughts from the dog, Nora fears she’s lost her mind. To verify her sanity, she agrees to help Ollie find his killers. Ollie, Nora, and Mugsy, the pug dog, conduct an investigation which leads them on a merry romp into the illegal side of the human body-parts trade, as well as the dark underbelly of the funeral business. They encounter creepy mortuary workers, graveyard ghosts, and a few brushes with the law—antics which underscore a common truism: adversity is the wellspring of humor. It’s all in the delivery.

     Well, this is definitely one of the most original concepts that I have read about in awhile - a dead psychic detective's pacemaker finds its way into the chest cavity of a pug named Mugsy, and somehow the detective's spirit gets trapped inside "man's-best-friend". After reading the blurb a few times I had to wonder if a plot like this one would actually work, but after two hours of laugh-out-loud reading, I can honestly say, for the most part, that it does. M. A. MacAfee's plot and characters are some of the most unique and quirky that I have read about in a long time. I thought that Ollie/Mugsy was a riot! I loved how Mugsy's dog senses and instincts effected, (and sometimes overpowered), Ollie's actual wants and needs. This is one of the first books I have read that delves into the canine psyche as it relates to the human mind, although not as detailed as I would have liked. I wanted to experience more of what the actual world looked and smelled like from Mugsy's point-of-view. The characters, even the four-legged variety, were well-developed and had distinct personalities, and I liked the relationships, especially between Ollie/Mugsy and Nora. Even though the story was far from realistic, the dialogue and characters seemed relatable and witty. There were quite a few chapters that made me laugh, and the mystery itself was quite entertaining! I will definitely be keeping this book on my shelf. Psyched Out is recommended to adult mystery readers who enjoy crimes, canines, and hysterical plot-lines.

Rating: Bounty's Out (3.5/5)

*** I received this book from the author (Bostick Communications) in exchange for an honest an unbiased review.

About the Author: (from Amazon)

     Mother and daughter award-winning novelists, using the pseudonym M.A. MacAfee, have teamed up to deliver humorous fiction. Mary Belknap, a sociology graduate of UCLA, has worked as a researcher over the years while honing the craft of fiction. A former mountaineer and marathon runner, she now finds creative replenishment in long hikes in the wooded forests of Western Washington. Mary Ann MacAfee, after years as a successful entrepreneur with degrees in accounting and finance and a CPA, pursued a certificate in literary fiction writing from the University of Washington. She enjoys spending time with her husband and son, a student at the University of Oregon, and two dogs. The mother and daughter team enjoy crafting quirky, light-hearted humor that at times, borders on the absurd.

No comments:

Post a Comment