Friday, May 21, 2010

Book: Old Dogs, by Donna Moore (2010)

I have not, as yet, been to Glasgow. I’ve got to wonder about the place now, though, having read Old Dogs. The arrival of the titular bejeweled Shih Tzu statues at a local museum is enough to turn the burg upside down.

An Italian Contessa and her sister – actually ex-hookers turned grifters – decide to boost the heavenly hounds. But first they’ll have to contend with their crooked, not-as-smart-as-he-thinks-he-is retainer. And their most recent fleecing victim, who has stalked them to Scotland in a psychotic rage. Plus there’s the competition, including two dimwit thugs and a devout Buddhist named Kyle.

Oh, yeah. And the statues might be fakes.

That’s a lot of plates to keep spinning, but whenever one starts to wobble Donna finds a way to keep it aloft, all the way to the crackerjack ending. Her descriptions help enormously. A local fence has “a face like a blind cobbler’s thumb.” One of the aspiring hoodlums is so ugly that “he couldn’t get his hole in a barrel of fannies.” (That might lose something in the translation. You see, Americans ... in the UK, a fanny ... ah, to hell with it. I’ll let Keith explain.)

Busted Flush Press will be bringing out the book Stateside shortly. I won a copy of the UK edition when my name was pulled out one of Donna’s many boots in a contest at her always lively blog. Rosemarie snagged it as soon as it arrived. I’ll give her the last word: “I was laughing out loud so much that other people on the bus were staring at me. And this is the bus that goes past the methadone clinic. When you can get that crowd’s attention first thing in the morning, it means something.”