Title: Two Pet Dicks
Author: John Inman
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 200 Pages
At a Glance: Fast paced, silly and sweet, this novel is a delightful romp that will leave you smiling.
Reviewed By: Sammy
Blurb: Old friends and business partners, Maitland Carter and Lenny Fritz, may not be the two sharpest pickle forks in the picnic basket, but they have big hearts. And they are just now coming around to the fact that maybe their hearts are caught in a bit of turmoil.
Diving headfirst into a whirlwind of animal mayhem, these two self-proclaimed pet detectives strive to earn a living, reunite a few poor lost creatures with their lonely owners, and hopefully not make complete twits of themselves in the process.
When they stumble onto a confusing crime involving venomous reptiles, which is rather unnerving since they’re more accustomed to dealing with misplaced puppy dogs and puddy tats, they take the plunge into becoming real-life crime stoppers.
While they’re plunging into that, they’re also plunging into love. They just haven’t admitted it to each other yet.
Review: Much like finding that oh-so-comfortable friend who gets your humor and your snark, author John Inman was that kind of find for me. His humor, his bawdiness, his slightly over-the-top yet endearing characters all add up to one delicious romantic comedy offering—this time in his latest novel, Two Pet Dicks.
Told in first person, our narrator, Maitland, informs the reading audience that he and Lenny are not the sharpest tools in the box. Well meaning and kindhearted to a fault, the two have been the best of friends since they first hooked up at the age of thirteen. Since both guys share a love of animals, it made perfect sense to become pet detectives. Upon opening their storefront (after being kicked out of Lenny’s parents’ basement), the two dicks gain a few cases that will keep them on their toes. The strangest one is the task of finding a Gila monster named Frederick who has gone missing and is suspected of being kidnapped by the client’s soon to be ex-husband. But all is not as it appears, and what should have been a simple case, turns into a deepening mystery that could have deadly consequences. As things heat up in the case, their personal lives also tip toward the boiling point.
Our two unlikely heroes have been a bit more than friends, on again and off again, for years. Now both of them are between boyfriends, and something strange is happening—all of a sudden there is a growing need to be together not just physically but emotionally as well. But can their fledgling business survive if their new relationship doesn’t work out? And what about their friendship? Could falling in love hurt what has been, up until now, a good thing?
I began this review by commenting on how much I enjoy this author’s use of humor and sarcasm in his writing. It is no joke that I feel John Inman is one of the best romantic comedy writers in the M/M genre today. While his humor is somewhat broad and, at times, very physical, it is also highly intelligent and wrapped in kindness. Maitland and Lenny are both so self-deprecating and very aware that they may not be the brightest, yet they still maintain a sense of dignity that keeps them from falling into some silly, stereotypical Laurel and Hardy figures. It is this quiet sense of respect for each other that carries this novel away from being just a clichéd comedy, to a lighthearted and tender love story. Even if this author’s sense of humor is not one you might embrace, his slightly flawed and fumbling characters are pure writer’s gold. In short, you simply cannot help falling a bit in love with these two guys.
While Maitland was charming, it was really Lenny who tugged at my heartstrings. So sure of himself when it came to detective work, he was so enamored of Maitland—so cautious in approaching him with the idea of being boyfriends–that you could almost feel how nervous he was to suggest it. The thought that Maitland would turn him away would just be too much to bear, and from the careful and genuine way author John Inman writes his characters, you just knew Lenny would be devastated if that were to happen. I loved that there were no soppy or disingenuous admissions of love; rather, there was a slow building acceptance of their new relationship and such wondrous surprise at how much they both enjoyed the new intimacy that meant.
Between belly laughs over the cursing parrot Toodles, the heartbreaking thought that Maitland’s Chihuahua, Pudding Pop, may be lost forever, and an ever increasing mystery surrounding the disappearance of rare lizards and snakes, Two Pet Dicks leads you on a roller coaster ride of fun and mayhem with a little bit of romance on the side. Fast paced, silly and sweet, this novel is a delightful romp that will leave you smiling. I highly recommend it to you.
You can buy Two Pet Dicks here: