Hitchcock Sewell is my new hero. When Lawrence Sanders died, he took his Archie McNally character with him. No more classic sandwiches and perfectly tacky attire. No more quirky characters and mysteries upon the Florida coast. I was sure I'd never love again.
Enter Tim Cockey. He's a story analyst and opera promoter who has been known to dabble in farmers' markets. In his spare time, Cockey is a writer. His first contribution to the reading public is The Hearse You Came In On. It is a welcome gift. I am in love with a literary character once again.
Life isn't very exciting for the average mortician. Then again, Hitchcock Sewell isn't your average mortician.
His world is turned asunder when a woman who calls herself Carolyn James enters the parlor. She wants to arrange her own funeral.
The mystery lady leaves as quickly as she came. Hitchcock barely has time to become obsessed. Little does he know he'll cross paths with this mortuary maven again.
When Carolyn James passes on, Hitch must handle the arrangements. He is stunned to find that the real Ms. James isn't the same woman he saw earlier.
Before he can say "Rest in Peace," Hitchcock gets mixed in a tale of murder, conspiracy and a boxcar full of toxic gunk. The beautiful mystery woman is actually Kate Zabriskie, a Baltimore cop with a coffin full of secrets.
Hitchcock pursues a relationship with the lovely detective. Little does he know he's playing with fire. Kate wants to avenge gross injustice. Her list of enemies includes crooked cops, prominent politicians and people willing to kill to hide their secrets.
Can Baltimore's most eligible mortician find the answers without digging his own grave? The answer to this $64,000 question is buried within the pages of The Hearse You Came In On.
Bartender, a round of drinks is in order for the Hyperion employee who snagged Tim Cockey. In a world of light mysteries, this author is a welcome sight for readers who like a little more meat in their stories.
Granted, this isn't you're typical whodunit. It's more of an unfolding of events. Hitchcock divides his time between observer and player. Based on other reviews, some readers have trouble with this dichotomy.
However, there is a method to Cockey's madness that works well. He has shaped Hitchcock Sewell into a smart, witty irresistible character. Who knew mortuary scientists could be so cool?
Humor abounds in this novel, varying from subtle quips to entire hilarious scenes involving a modernized community production of Our Town. Even the former Mrs. Hitchcock Sewell is amusing. If you like sharp wit, you'll love this author.
So how does Hitchcock Sewell compare to his literary counterparts? Well, he's more complicated than Kinsey Millhone, he's funnier than Lucas Davenport, and he's cockier than Alex Cross. Not much of a visual is it? It works. Trust me.
Tim Cockey is the self-described "writer of wrongs." His website (www.TimCockey.com) is just as funny as his work. According to his bio, Hyperion has ordered an entire fleet of Hitchcock Sewell novels. Fantastic! Bartender, another round of drinks for the publisher here, please. And bring a double for Tim Cockey. I'd like to make a toast to my tragically hip mortician friend, Hitchcock Sewell.