Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Rabbit Factory by Marshall Karp

Title: The Rabbit Factory
Author: Marshall Karp
ISBN: 9781596922174
Publisher: MacAdam/Cage Publishing, 2007
Paperback, 574 pages
Genre: Police Procedural, Humorous, #1 Lomax and Biggs mystery
Rating: A
Source: Purchased eBook from Barnes & Noble.

First Line: Eddie Elkins ambled down Fantasy Avenue.

Rambunctious Rabbit, known as Rambo to his millions of fans, is an American icon and a theme park's biggest draw. When Eddie Elkins (the actor inside the rabbit suit) and two other theme park employees are murdered, Los Angeles Police Department detectives Mike Lomax and Terry Biggs must catch the killer before he can ruin an entertainment giant.

Karp's writing is hilarious as he introduces Lomax and Biggs. Lomax is the narrator, which is fitting since he claims that generations of his family suffer from diarrhea of the mouth. Karp gives him a conversational style that made Lomax feel as though he were my new best friend. See how he describes his mother:

She was one of the top stuntwomen of her day and worked in over two hundred movies, five of them with John Wayne. Every now and then, Joanie and I would be watching an old video, and some woman would fall down a flight of stairs, jump off a bridge, or get hit by a truck, and I'd smile and proudly say, "That's my Mom."

At first-- courtesy of Lomax's snappy wisecracks-- it would be easy to assume the two detectives are a modern-day version of the Keystone Cops, but you know what happens when you assume, don't you? Lomax's sense of humor hides a lot of pain. His wife died six months ago, and each month he reads one of the letters she left for him. His father is trying to get him dating again, and Lomax's brother is in deep trouble.

Once the first murder victim's background is revealed, the police waste precious time believing that it was a revenge crime, and it certainly doesn't help that Lamaar Studios' public relations people are trying to lock down all information about what's going on so the company shares won't take a hit on Wall Street. Events are fast-moving, however, and it doesn't take Lomax and Biggs long before they realize there's much more to this murder than first met the eye.

The satiric humor continues throughout the book, but Karp never lets it overshadow the investigation, which has plenty of twists, turns, and surprises. Well before I was finished, I stopped to see how many books there are in this series. I love Karp's humor, his cast of characters, and his devious plots. I want Lomax and Biggs to continue investigating crime for a good long time. 


  1. Cathy - Oh, Marshall Karp is such a talented author, isn't he? I really like his Lomax and Biggs stories. I adore his sense of humour, and yet, there's a solid layer of mystery and tension, too. Real winners, those books, in my opinion. Thanks for the excellent review of this one.

  2. Police procedural, humor, and #1 in a series? Best news/review I've read all week! Off to investigate...

  3. Great review. I absolutely adore this series.

  4. Cathy

    Congratulations. As hard as my publicists have tried to keep my books under the radar, you somehow managed to find the first in the series. Thanks for the feel good review. The next 3 Lomax and Biggs mysteries are also out there somewhere. After that I coauthored Kill Me If You Can with James Patterson. Lovely man. Better publicist.

    Marshall Karp

  5. Margot-- You're welcome. I've got my hands on the second book in the series. Now all I have to do is find the time to read it. Too many ARCs waiting for me!

    raidergirl3-- Yes! :-)

    Elizabeth-- I love it when reading the first in the series makes me want to snap up all the other books!

    Marshall-- It wasn't easy to find, but "mule-headed" is a term often used in conjunction with my name. I have the next book in the L&B series sitting on my to-be-read shelves waiting for me. As for James Patterson's publicist, I think the person works a bit too hard-- I've been completely put off reading any of Patterson's books due to all the advertising! ("Contrary" has also been frequently used to describe me as well....)

  6. Duh - when I read The Rabbit Factory, I thought immediately of John Updike!

    Anyway, Marshall Karp is now on my list with a big star next to his name. Thanks for the tip.

    P.S. I agree about Patterson.

  7. Barbara-- LOL... I think that is an understandable mix-up, but since I'm really not all that fond of Updike, it would be a bit strange to see a review of one of his books here! You're welcome for the tip; I think you'll enjoy Karp's writing!

  8. Thanks for pointing me in Karp's direction, Cathy. I found it in a trice at Book Depository, even though the cover art seems lacking. Humour is hardest of all to write well, so I'm eager to get my hands on this.


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