Sunday, October 10, 2021

A Day at the Races, by Joseph S. Walker


"A Day at the Races," by Joseph S. Walker, in Monkey Business:Crime Fiction Inspired by the Films of the Marx Brothers, edited by Josh Pachter, Untreed Reads, 2021.

I have a story in this book.

This is the third appearance here by Joseph S. Walker, the second this year.

One of the interesting things about an anthology like this one is seeing the many different ways authors interpret the theme.  Some use the plot of the film as a jumping-off place.  Others work with the on-screen personas of the brothers.  This is the first one I have read that tries to show us our heroes as they might have appeared in real life.

Julia Simmons is the head of personnel and payroll at Santa Anita Racetrack and this is the day before the film crew will arrive to shoot the racing scenes for the new Marx Brothers movie.  Unfortunately it is also the day that the manager of the track is murdered.  The handsome detective in charge of investigating the case has many questions which keeps Julia rushing back to her office - where an odd little man in a gray suit is hanging around for no apparent reason.  We will figure out his part in the story long before she does, but it's fun hearing his commentary on the action.

There's a lot of wit in this tale, and a satisfactory plot.

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