Friday, February 22, 2019

Reprise Review: The Secret Files of Hugo and Victoria by J.E. (Buck) Buchanan

Genre: Noir/Paranormal/Satire


“At last, a novel that seeks to answer the age-old question of whether a hardboiled private eye writer and a goody-two-shoes vampiress-in-denial can find redemption and true happiness.”


A former member of law enforcement in Florida, Buck Buchanan now works as a law enforcement consultant as well as having his finger in several writerly pursuits, including editing, conducting writers’ workshops, and writing crime fiction.


Hugo Rongg is a “private eye writer” (think of your favorite “hardboiled detective”) who drives a “classic Yugo.” Victoria Station is a sexy dame with a “little genetics problem”; specifically she’s a vampire who falls hard for Hugo and, with his guidance, hopes to become a private eye writer, too. The Secret Files … satirizes two genres, both noir (the genre of the hardboiled detective) and the paranormal genre with vampires, werewolves, and such creatures, especially the hybrids. Can you guess the difference between a vampig and a hampire?

Relatively short, I read straight through The Secret Files … laughing constantly. For a few examples of things that tickled my funny bone, it makes fun of the language of the hardboiled detective, i.e., “The joint had been tossed, trashed, rifled… you know, searched” and the silly nicknames often hung on villains in those novels, “Nickel is Dime’s half-brother …” At times I got the feeling that despite my constant laughter that there were many jokes sneaking past me. For example, there was a subtle political statement that I almost missed and a little dig at those who are too dogmatic about religion. If you’re into satire, especially if you like the genres being satirized and don’t mind a little fun being poked at them, The Secret Files … should be a perfect fit. I’ll leave you with one more quote. This is for the paranormal fans:

“My head spun. I’d just learned I had vampire, witch, and werewolf blood in my veins and a parrot for a grandfather. Talk about a bad heir day.”

Buy now from:    Amazon US        Amazon UK


Added for Reprise Review: The Secret Files of Hugo and Victoria by J.E. (Buck) Buchanan was a nominee in the Humor and Satire category for B&P 2013 Readers' Choice Awards. Original review ran June 1, 2012

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues.

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Reviewed by: BigAl

Approximate word count: 40-45,000 words

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