My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I was determined not to like this book. First, the main character Singer Batts (super dorky name) is a Shakespearean scholar and amateur criminologist. This sounds even less interesting than Nancy Drew. Second, the eccentric Batts has a partner that does his leg work and who also narrates the story, just like Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin, which seemed way too derivative to me. A slew of characters are quickly introduced which I initially found confusing, however I stuck with it. Turns out that the book is great. Sure it’s got plenty of similarities to Rex Stout’s oeuvre. The plot is just as complex and satisfying, however it’s also way more violent. Batts and partner Joe Spinder get beat up or shot regularly, and it has quite a high body count for a story that I feared might have devolved into a tepid cozy mystery. Dewey wrote two other little known crime series, the detective named Mac, and the Pete Schofield books. The Singer Batts books are even less known, and unjustly so. I’m going to have to read the other three Batts books now.
The Singer Batts Mystery MEGAPACK contains all four novels for only $0.99 USD