I just devoured an advance copy of Timothy Hallinan’s latest Junior Bender novel, Fields Where They Lay. It was a sweet and savory experience. Speaking as a fellow writer, I have to tell those of you who haven’t yet discovered him, that reading Hallinan is like licking ice cream. He has such a wonderful way with words that each sentence is a treat for the tongue. Wit and wisdom, humor and insight, all gathered together into splendidly simple prose that never fails to make me jealous of his gift.
The plot of Fields Where They Lay was classic for Junior Bender, Hallinan’s bungling, big-hearted thief. You journey with him as he solves mysteries in his own quirky manner, with colorful, clumsy interactions, and an investigative style reminiscent of Inspector Clouseau.
As in Hallinan’s other series, in Bender books, you always learn something interesting. In this case, the insights include shopping mall security and the history of keys, making me wonder what Timothy does when he’s not writing.
Time for you to stop reading this and go out and pre-order Fields Where They Lay, which hits the market next week. Although it’s the 6th book in the series, there’s no need to read the other five first. Each Junior Bender book is as self-contained an ice cream cone.