Morrow, Dec 2001, 24.00, 326 pp.
Mississippi's Eddie Long feels one day he will take Nashville by storm. Eddie is currently doing the Southern bars and college route, but feels he is just paying his dues before the big break occurs. However, while on the road, Eddie learns that his wife has died. Grieving, he sings a eulogy-song that stuns the music world and makes him a hot prospect.
Writer Jimmy Rogers sees honky tonk performer turn superstar Eddie as the perfect vehicle for a biography. His research soon leads him to believe that Eddie may have arranged his spouse's demise via food poisoning and the deaths of several other people while the musician toured the south. Jimmy, already jealous of Eddie stealing his girl, plans to prove that Eddie is more talented as a serial killer than a country western musician.
FENDER BENDER is an amusing satirical look at the music industry and indirectly at serial killer novels. The story line skews any icon that falls in its path, but does so through not so subtle references to movies and books and a strong cast whose eccentricities and personal agendas add humor to a very funny mix. If novels like CROSS DRESSING and PEST CONTROL have not already introduced the reader to the sharp barbs of Bill Fitzhugh; FENDER BENDER is the right tale for those who relish laughing at idols crumbling from the pedestals inside a dark facetious mystery.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner