Genre: Quirky murder mystery
See Gino’s Law in action in this quirky mystery. Gino Gibaldi is a multi-phobic reclusive misanthrope who’s been framed for murder. Since he’s claustrophobic with agoraphobic tendencies, it’s too bad he has to go on the run while trying to prove his innocence. Gino is a gifted creator of three-dimensional display items, such as life-sized holiday scenes for shopping malls, a pink cow that dispenses liquor for a farm-themed party, and ice sculptures for hotel banquets. You should also know that he lives in a rather… quirky East Dallas neighborhood. Profanity, mild violence. No sex or vampires (sorry.)
Gino’s Law took a few chapters to really grab me before I realized this was a game of Clue set in Texas. Okay, it’s not quite Clue – but it’s still a murder mystery that is forced upon the main character by naming him the primary suspect.
Our main character, Gino, is a grumpy man of thirty who has both diabetes and mild agoraphobia. I found a line that sums up his attitude throughout the book –
“Don’t take it personally,” Gino said. “I generally detest everyone. Separately but equally, of course.”
Naturally the murder victim is someone he has loudly opposed. Gino ends up being taken to jail for pot possession while they search his house for murder weapons, panics then crashes from a medical condition, gets released, then they try to arrest him again – this time he flees in a neighbor’s car. Then things get worse…
At this point, it’s worth noting the title of this book; ‘Gino’s Law’ for every action there is an overreaction.
There’s a lot of natural humor in the story. One of the main character’s best friends is gay, raises award-winning guinea pigs and does horoscopes better than my mother ever could. This leads to a funny scene later on as Gino’s main ‘love interest’ believes Gino to be gay as well – much to his dismay. In addition, there are plot threads having to do with attempted extortion from Mexican Coyotes, a drifty artistic tenant who rents out a room but locks herself out constantly, add in the murder weapon being a reindeer antler and you’ve got a lot of reasons to chuckle.
That being said, those looking for a fantasy or science fiction may not find the story attractive. Anyone looking for straight modern fiction would probably get a kick out of ‘Gino’s Law’. I felt confusingly intrigued by the vernacular but stayed for the murder mystery and watching one thing after another go wrong.
Overall I enjoyed the book.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.