To say Nick Valentine is a unique individual would be putting it lightly. Along with his partner Frank Sinatra – no, really – he works as a private detective in St. Louis. He likes to think there’s no case he can’t solve, and he’s damn sure there’s no drink or drug he doesn’t like.
When a credit union is robbed and the police have trouble picking up a decent lead Valentine finds himself front and center on the trail of the robbers…and the money. And he’s not the only one, as an oddball assortment of the worst examples of humanity St. Louis has to offer are all hot on the trail as well.
From dealer and go-to guy Big Tony and his partner Doyle, to local heavy hitter Mr. Parker and his enforcers Sid and Johnny No Nuts, author Matthew McBride has populated Frank Sinatra in a Blender with one of the most colorful cast of characters you’ll ever run across.
Before you know it Valentine is up to his ass in double crossing bad guys, suspicious police officers, and enough liquor and Oxycontin to drop an ox. Add to that copious amounts of strippers, car chases, and shootouts and you’re in for one hell of a no-holds-barred ride. Oh, and don’t forget that chainsaw.
It’s a tribute to McBride’s deliciously warped sense of humor that he can make even the most repugnant characters like Sid and Johnny No Nuts literally laugh out loud funny. Their combination of extreme sadism and outrageous incompetence really allows for no other reaction. There’s one scene in particular where Sid and Johnny take a very unfortunate individual to the basement of an abandoned church to engage in some decidedly unChristian activity that will have you shaking your head at the sheer audacity of McBride’s writing.
Frank Sinatra in a Blender is some of the most wickedly dark, hardboiled writing to come along in quite some time. Those active in the online world of short crime fiction have known about Matthew McBride’s work for a while now – the man’s affinity for chainsaws is legendary – but with the release of this brilliantly original first novel McBride is finally poised to garner some of the mainstream recognition he so richly deserves. If you’ve not picked up Frank Sinatra in a Blender yet, for the love of all things noir, do yourself a favor and get on this! Not only will you enjoy a hell of a read, you may just get a contact high in the process. — EAW
Frank Sinatra in a Blender is available from Concord ePress.