Friday, July 14, 2017

Hap and Leonard visits a bookmobile.

Hoodoo harry

Joe R. Lansdale

Publisher: Mysterious Press/Open Road 

Pub. Date: August 1, 2017

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars



Bibliomysteries is a series of short novellas from Mysterious Press and Open Road Media that features mysteries centered around books. As they put it, "Short tales about deadly books." The lineup of authors is impressive from R. L. Stine to Joyce Carol Oates. Hoodoo Harry is Joe R. Lansdale's contribution. It is nominally about books with the basic tie-in being a bookmobile that shows up in a deadly accident after being missing for 15 years. But the good news for Joe R. Lansdale fans is that Hoodoo Harry is a new Hap and Leonard story.

Hap and Leonard are almost killed when above mentioned bookmobile hits Leonard's truck. The driver is a young boy who is killed instantly while Hap and Leonard manage to survive. In their usual style, they become involved in finding out why the van reappeared after 15 years, what other gruesome acts are attached to it, and what happened to Hoodoo Harry , the woman who drove it in the years before. Those question reveal several murders which are associated with a mostly derelict town and its questionable inhabitants.

While the core of the Lansdale series is located in the 12 novels, the author seems to be enjoying writing short stories and novellas that clue us in to this duo. I really appreciate those short stories than deal with Hap and Leonard as children as they add dimension to the characters. Hoodoo Harry takes part in the present day after the last novel Rusty Puppy. It still keeps to the pattern of the novels. Yet this may be the best of the short novellas that Landsdale have been writing regularly . It is to the point with plenty of good dialog and a tight who-dunnit
style . Yet there is a scene at the end that both shocked and impressed me. It is a scene that speaks to the difference between the two friends. it is a difference that, if visited in future tales, may speak of a tension that could cause a lot of rift in this series . Will it be explore later. I hope because it will put in a new wrinkle to the Hap and Leonard persona What is it? You know I am not going to tell.

Overall, Hoodoo Harry is a nice addition to the Hap and Leonard repertoire and is one of the better short works. You can read this as a stand-alone but you might miss all the nuances . But for the fans of this roughhouse investigator duo series, it is definitely one to pick up.

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