Dell, Jun 2004, 6.99292 pp.
On his way back to the city after treasure hunting for “critters” in Pennsylvania, taxidermist collector Garth Carson stops at Tiny Treasures in the Jersey Palisades where one can see the welcoming smog of the Big Apple. The store contains an original Pipsqueak the Nutty Nut from the classic 1950s kiddies TV show. However, the owner, “Cola Woman”, refuses to sell the squirrel.
Another patron “Biker Boy” enters demanding the squirrel be given to him. Instead of cash or plastic, a shot is fired. However, Garth sees that Biker is dead, blood is all over the place, and Cola Woman was fleeing with his treasure Pipsqueak. Garth soon learns that Cola Woman did not own the store as the real owner was tied up in a closet and that the cops believe he was lucky to still be alive. Unable to forget Pipsqueak, Garth concludes that Cola Woman stole his squirrel and begins a zany search for his lost property not yet understanding the deadly competition in spite of the Biker Boy homicide.
The description above does not quite attain the zaniness of this wildly amusing urban noir in which the Maltese Falcon is a five decade old stuffed squirrel. The story line is as out of control as a reader will find without losing control. Instead the audience receives a way out satirical look at what matters in society (nostalgic junk as treasure while people cannot afford medical care).
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner