Finished: Choke on Your Lies by Anthony Neil Smith, 2011, (self-published as ebook).
Very good. I do not understand why this was not picked up by a regular publisher. Slightly disappointing because all the plugs talked up the sex, sex, sex. So, I was expecting sex, sex, sex and there was, in a way, but it was referred to rather than explicit. There was only one sex scene. Sex.
I bought and downloaded this onto the library's Nook. I have split feelings on this e-book stuff. Maybe I would like it better with a different reader.
Mick Thooft is an idiotic, clueless, over-romantic, purposefully liberal, pining poet teaching at a private college in the Twin Cities. Mick's wife is leaving him for the college's provost. Mick is heartbroken and googly eyed for his wife and, as many characters point out, a ball-less and gutless wonder. Wife pulls out legal document supposedly signed by Mick showing he agrees to give her the house upon divorce. Mick gets help from old high-school pal Octavia.
Octavia is 350 pounds of bad attitude and cruelty. She is incredibly wealthy, manipulative, conniving, self-absorbed, etc. Octavia has always hated Mick's wife and proposes that together she and Mick "punish the bitch".
Things happen. People are upset. Mick pines for wife. Mick finds secret sex club run by Provost. Provost is blackmailing numerous faculty and staff in the club. Mick relies on Octavia's knowledge and intelligence. Octavia cleans off a strap-on dildo. Mick finds out wife was in the sex club. More things happen. Mick screws Provost's horn-dog secretary. Grand confrontation (a la Nero Wolfe) does not end the story. More things happen. Octavia's house is raided and Mick arrested for murder. Mick's wife committed the murder and then kills herself. Everything ends happily ever after. Sort of.
1. Fun swipe by Smith at Marshall, MN.
2. Poetry quoting by Thooft is incredibly annoying and shows what a twit he is.
3. A recurring theme of "home" in Smith's books. Psychomatic's amputee. Bad Egg Deputy in Yellow Medicine pining for the South and then homeless and rootless in Hogdoggin'. Thooft just wanting to keep his home. I haven't read Drummer yet, I'm saving it.
4. Recurring theme of goth chicks.
5. Thooft works at an unnamed college. I presume Smith had no specific college in mind but I'll take a guess at Macalester because they are a bunch of damn hippies.
6. Smith made a comment about riffing on the Nero Wolfe model. He did quite well.