Broadman & Holman
If you crossed Colombo with Red Skelton's character Clem Kadiddlehopper, what would you have? Rick Dewhurst's would-be private eye, Joe LaFlam, in Bye Bye Bertie. At the beginning of the story, Joe has just two major problems: he's still not married at 33 and he has very little private eye business. When beautiful Brittany Morgan, or Mulligan, walks through the door, he thinks that God has answered his first problem.
Brittany's sister, Bertie, is missing, kidnapped by a ferocious Druid cult. Brittany needs someone to deliver the ransom.
Joe's pastor has been preaching on fasting, so Joe picks up a book to help him study it more. With the possibility that Brittany may be the answer to his prayers, Joe goes on a fast to help him have more influence with God. We can tell when the fast is getting to him because Joe's thoughts visit bizarre places.
But Joe's problems increase as Brittany disappears with his inheritance, lovely sister Bertie shows up, and Joe discovers a secret conspiracy to take over the world, which requires he be silenced forever. Between his now-you-see-them, now-you-don't clients and the would-be assassins, Joe has all he can handle and then some.
Bye Bye Bertie provides a light-hearted spoof of the detective genre with a lead character like the cousin you always avoid at family reunions. Dewhurst pokes fun in a good-natured way at Christian foibles, but Joe's mental wanderings as the fast is prolonged grow old. Somehow the Morgan family is transformed into the Mulligan family, but you hardly notice. Dewhurst fills the book with a cast of strangely likable characters: Joe's mother who tries to undermine his fast with his favorite foods, a hit man with heart problems, the disappearing Mulligan/Morgan family, and the cynical ex-con new Christian. If you need a chuckle, Bye Bye Bertie may be just what you are looking for. -- Debbie W. Wilson, Christian Book Previews.com
Joe LaFlam is a private detective, a Christian—a single Christian that is, and a desperate-to-mate single Christian at that. One fine day a potential prospect . . . er . . . client walks through his office door and drops an intriguing case on his desk. The lovely (soon-to-be-found-out heiress) prospect’s . . . um . . . client’s sister is missing. “Bertie’s joined a cult.”
Everyman Joe sets off to solve what will become not one but two kidnapping cases, to save the day, and get the girl (but not necessarily in that order). After twist upon twist (and some providential sleuthing), the ending may not turn out as Joe planned. It just might be better than he ever dreamed . . . or worse.