Villard, 23.95, 337 pp.
In Los Angeles, Ernie Watson's former wife Louise visits his detective agency to talk with his partner Vincent Rubio. She needs help because her brother Rupert, now using the name Granaagh, has joined the Progressive cult and she wants him returned home. Vincent explains that you cannot just kidnap an adult T-Rex because they have rights. Ernie arrives and immediately accepts the case gratis.
The Progressives want dinosaurs to come out of their latex costumes into the nakedness of their ancestors to confront the puny overpopulated humans. Meanwhile, the two sleuths follow leads that take them into one dino-disaster after another. At stake is control of the dinosaur population and perhaps a universe give or take a light year or two.
CASUAL REX, the prequel to the fascinating ANONYMOUS REX, is as insanely satirical and saurcy as its predecessor. Seems as if little escapes the humor and irony of Eric Garcia as it shreds the disguises of much of society. Ernie and Vincent are wonderful characters even if they trip over their tails a lot. Fans of private investigative novels with quite a humorous twist and science fiction readers will fully enjoy this wild ride, but stay away from the basil or is that baked banana peels?
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner