(From the publisher):
This delightfully quirky first novel begins with a late-night phone call to the story’s narrator, Will Keats: his father, second-rate ventriloquist Skipper Keats, has just died of a heart attack in the middle of his regular Thursday-night gig at The Gag Reflex, a comedy club Skipper owns in Columbus, Georgia.
This unexpected demise leads to further surprise, in the form of the bizarre codicil attached to the will: Skipper has stipulated that he be buried with Dapper O’Dell, his favorite dummy, in a coffin that looks like a stretch limo. To Will, ever cynical regarding his father’s profession, this last bit of garishness is merely true to form.
Only after the funeral – and after Dapper appears to him in a dream, demanding to be rescued – does Will conclude that the grave is not, after all, the appropriate resting place for this very valuable piece of teakwood. But Will’s surreptitious disinterment of the coffin reveals yet another surprise: someone has beat him to it. The dummy is gone, and mystery is afoot.
Original title: Would It Kill You to Smile?
Genre: Fiction→ Crime and Mystery→ Detective Story and Detectives→ Amateur