My Girlfriend is a Con Artist
There is a suggested template of novel or novella writing that the writer should effectively summarize the entire plot to come on the first page and, if he is really on his game, do it in the first paragraph. If that idea is new to you and sounds shocking or somehow wrong, doing just that won Julian Barnes the Man Booker Prize in 2011 for The Sense of an Ending. Or, there was Erich Segal’s monster best-seller Love Story in 1970 that began with, ‘What can you say about a twenty-five-year-old girl who died?’ However, it takes a certain kind of gutsy authorship to lay it all out to the reader with the title. Flint Osborne’s girlfriend is a con artist. Read on!
And of course one does read on, because just as one always knew that Columbo was going to catch the murderer who had planned the near-perfect crime, the fun is in the getting there and not the arrival at the destination. Here in the pages of My Girlfriend is a Con Artist there is quite a lot of fun to be had, if this novella is taken in that light-hearted way.
Although Crane does not write in the style of Mickey Spillane or Raymond Chandler – all those short, clipped sentences – his private detective Flint is very much a descendant of Mike Hammer or Sam Spade. Flint’s clients are an eccentric lot, and eccentrically named too; it’s been awhile since we’ve run across names like Gullie Bowl or Ms. Jai Gantic, yet that is just a nod to the reader to please just play along and don’t be overly concerned about repeat concussion syndrome when our man Flint gets bonked unconscious. When he awakens, he awakes to a bonking of another sort, so all in a day’s work then.
The plot centers on Flint’s solving two cases. His wealthy father has asked him to look into the business affairs of a former Prada model and current dress designer named Melanie Sparks. Melanie has asked Daddy Osborne to put $500,000 into her garment company in return for a 10% share of the business. I don’t think she would fare very well on Shark Tank, as Flint soon finds out. Meanwhile, his former girlfriend Madison is the subject of a murder investigation, the victim being Flint’s successor as her boyfriend. Complications arise.
There are laughs to be had in My Girlfriend is a Con Artist, and the plots will keep the pages turning as well. Crane has produced a fine, light-hearted read.
|Page Count||142 pages|
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