Friday, June 1, 2012

The Secret Files of Hugo and Victoria / J. E. (Buck) Buchanan

Reviewed by: BigAl

Genre: Noir/Paranormal/Satire

Approximate word count: 40-45,000 words

Kindle  US: YES  UK: YES  Nook: NO  Smashwords: NO Paper: NO
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store


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.


“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.”


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.”

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues.

Rating: ***** Five stars


Barbara Silkstone said...

This book is hysterical. My favorite line is Victoria Station's longing to be a "private eye writer." Prepare to laugh... a lot.

Joansz said...

OMG! I've got to download this book. It has everything.

BooksAndPals said...

Thanks Barb and Joan. I think you'll like it, Joan. I'm not surprised Barb did, it seems right up her alley to me.

Joansz said...

So I take it this book comes with a *spew warning.*

BooksAndPals said...

A group of my friends call that SSR. Sip, swallow, read. Otherwise you'll dirty your computer or ereader screen. I just noticed this is Amazon only, Joan. Don't you have a Nook?

Joansz said...

I have a Nook, which I prefer for digital reading, but I do have a tablet where I'm running the Kindle app. Already downloaded--didn't even bother to sample it, which I almost always do. This sounds so much like my kind of book.

BooksAndPals said...

Report back to us with what you think, Joan. :)