In 1977, Ickey Jerusalem, heralded as San Francisco’s golden boy, arrives on a 747 overnight flight . . . dead. Found in a locked, first-class toilet, the poet laureate, to all appearances, committed suicide.
Ded Smith, an insurance investigator for the Olympian Life Insurance Company, joins San Francisco Police Inspector O’Nadir as he investigates the death. Despite evidence to the contrary, Ded [sometimes referred to as Doctor Deadly] is not so sure certain that Ickey’s death was by his own hand.
But if Ickey didn’t take his own life, who is responsible for the poet’s death? Could it be Robert William, the flight purser? Perhaps it was Beulah Vala, Ickey’s blind personal assistant, or Bacon Urizen, his lawyer? Or could it have been the plastic surgeon, Doctor Bromion Ulro? The business manager, Tharmas Luvah? Or, perhaps, Adam Ghostflea, Ikey’s chauffeur?
Why would any member of Ickey’s coterie murder the poet? And why would Ickey commit suicide when it seemed as if he had finally reached the apex of his creativity?
Although inundated with references to William Blake’s poetry, words of wisdom, paintings, and drawings, the author of this philosophical murder mystery asserts that any familiarity with Blake is not necessary for readers of this delightful tale. And, although the author ascribes Blake’s musings to Ickey Jerusalem, the wandering metaphysical concepts may be just a tad confusing for those who have yet to meet Blake.
Ickey’s retinue is as unusual as the names they bear; their nonplussed attitudes belie the inventiveness of this madcap tale. With strong [albeit a tad comical] characters and a plot that only slowly reveals its secrets, readers who enjoy untangling the mystery before the big reveal will find much to appreciate here.
At times, the narrative tumbles into absurdity; the compelling metaphysical aspects often elicit chuckles. But the plot is clever; with its healthy dose of humor, this tightly-woven mystery is sure to keep readers guessing . . . and the denouement doesn’t disappoint.
I received a free copy of this eBook from Galbraith Literary Publishers and NetGalley