Richard Belzer is well known as a stand up comedian and has been appearing in crime dramas over the past decade or more as Detective John Munch, but I had no idea he was an author too. Turns out that this is a follow-up book to I Am Not A Cop!, which published earlier this year. (Incidentally, he's also written a book on his conspiracy theories in addition to a How-to for stand-up comics). The question I had was: can a man that plays a detective on TV successfully write a book in a similar genre?
The book centres around Paul, an old friend of Belzer's, that calls him out of the blue to say he's discovered information on the mysterious death of a Hollywood starlet twenty-six years prior. Then Paul ends up dead and Veronica, a "psychic" that was helping him research the old case, turns up at Belzer's door. Veronica thinks Paul was murdered and that everything seems to be connected. Unwillingly, Belz begins to help uncover the truth, all while trying to help his mentor organize a telethon
While Belz becomes less and less willing to help, he ultimately gets more involved and more dead bodies start piling up. Belz has many fans on police forces around the U.S. and uses this to his advantage to untangle the web that has been spinning all this time.
The story has the feel of a Marilyn Munroe/JFK mystery with a dash of old Hollywood thrown in. The mob makes an appearance as well as the CIA, giving it a whole "everyone's in on it" conspiracy kind of feel to it. What I found it lacked was the humour you would expect from a comedian. Not that it didn't have any, but what was offered was a dry, ironic type but for the most part the story is told straight up.
It is an interesting concept to take a real person, namely Richard Belzer, throw himself into a story and be surrounded by fictitious happenings. The story line flowed well and everything fit together nicely. If you are a fan of his TV series or of conspiracy type mysteries, you will enjoy this book.
So, to answer my question Richard Belzer does a decent job with murder/mystery; not bad for an actor/comedian.