A Callie Parrish Mystery series
by Fran Rizer
2. Hey Diddle Diddle, the Corpse and the Fiddle
3. Casket Case
I found copies of books 2 and 3 in the series in a discount bin at my local Big W, and since they were only $3.47 each I thought "what the hell?", and in my ignorance, thought that I'd be able to get book 1 quite easily. Little did I know that apart from paying the earth for it from an online seller (overseas), that I could not get my hands on it for love nor money. So, I set aside these 2 fabulous looking books - the cover art is amazing! - and after a few months I sort of forgot about them.
Then recently, I came across them while re-organizing the shelves, and decided that I'd just read them anyway. I plowed through Hey Diddle Diddle (you don't expect me to use the full title every time, did you?) and loved it. However even as I picked up (#3) I knew that I was so tired I couldn't give it the time it deserved, so it was book down and lights out.
Cut to the next morning, and I was rearing to go. I dived into the world of Calamine Lotion (love the name!). All was going swimmingly until I hit the part about her using up a chunk of her savings to crop Big Boy's ears.... say what!? That just floored me. As a pet owner, I have to say that I found that really off-putting. It wasn't needed storywise, and it's not a practice that I would have thought anyone would bring up. She almost sounded proud of it. So, after that disturbing glimpse into the author's thought process I wasn't quite sure whether or not that was Ms. Rizer's stand, or what her character would have done. It's funny how just one little comment, or the hint of something we, the reader, find offensive can just totally colour the way we feel about a series.
If I put that one little detail aside (even though it's mentioned twice in the book!) I loved both of these books. Callie is a really nice and thoughtful person who just seems to be followed by dead bodies the way Stephanie Plum is by dead cars (also, Callie is a fan of the series so that's one thing in her favour). Her job is a little off-beat, and her friendship with Jane is one that we all should aspire to have. Jane's totally retro-hippie, flower child vibe is fabulous. I was amazed by her occupation, but once you think about it it is a job that would allow a blind person to be totally independent. Then there are The Boys. I just loved her relationships with her brothers. Her Daddy is a hoot and a half as well. Her bosses, Odell and Otis, are a great foil for her - the tanning bed incident was so funny - that they could almost have a series of their own.
There are three more books in the series that I need to get/read (Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star There's A Body in the Car | Mother Hubbard Has A Corpse in the Cupboard | A Corpse Beneath the Christmas Tree) and I'm having trouble trying to track them down from the library. I think my only real avenue is to buy the eBook versions - is it in eBook? - and go from there. If you can overlook that one disturbing incident, I would recommend the Callie Parrish books to everyone.