They Walk In but Never Out, and as Far as this Novel Is Concerned, Neither Will You

IMG_9087              I felt as if Linda Sands was something of a kindred spirit while reading her offbeat crime novel, 3 Women Walk into a Bar. It’s been out just a little longer than my novel, Crazy of Natural Causes, and most every character in Linda’s story is crazy, or, at least, eccentric.

Mine’s not a crime novel, but the next one is.

The title, of course, is evocative of a common joke intro. Yes. A blonde. A brunette. A redhead. Only they are abruptly shot dead by the owner of the Irish pub in question, who then shoots himself, leaving a crime scene that seems elegant in its simplicity and the stark beauty of the macabre scene.

To borrow from some movie trailer, but things are not as they seem! The author deftly retraces what brought the four principals to their untimely end. The case seems open and shut. It’s much more complicated than that.

By Monte Dutton
By Monte Dutton

The author never leaves her sense of humor behind, or her deft sense of the absurd. She turns phrases like a sports columnist. (I know a little about that.)

The chapters written from the viewpoint of private investigator — and, of course, former male stripper — Bill Tedesco are in first person. The rest, describing the paths taken by the killer, James John Smith, and the victims — Roxanne Dupont, Crescent Moon and Chamonix Leonard — are in third person.

This threw me for a loop at first, but I came to see its utility. As with any great whodunit, the author builds her case, confuses her reader for a while, and then brings it all together with a gathering wave of insight.

At the end, it all makes sense, or at least to the extent that murder ever does.

It’s a wonderful yarn, too funny to be gross. A lighthearted look at tragedy requires irreverence, and Ms. Sands is blessed with an ample gift. Her humor is as wicked as her characters.


              You can buy 3 Women Walk into a Bar here:

              I’d also appreciate your consideration of Crazy of Natural Causes by examining it here:

              Most of my books, including the first two novels, are available here:




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