Saturday, January 24, 2009

I Am to Clap!

I finished I Am Not a Cop! by Richard Belzer.
I first posted about it here.
I have to say I enjoyed this “page turner.” True, it’s like an extended episode of SUV complete with convenient twists and turns. True, it’s a love letter to old television shows, movies and books where “Belz” acts out on paper his desire to emulate the likes of Philip Marlowe, Charlie Chan, Sherlock Holmes, Rupert Cadell and Sam Spade. But he truly makes it his own, belittling himself along the way for his attempts at comparison to these mystery greats. And with different "characters" than the show, it doesn't feel derived. If you’re partial to the dry, cool and not always subtle wit of Richard Belzer (and his alter ego Detective John Munch) then you will enjoy this book.

The story takes place in “real life,” meaning that Richard Belzer is himself, the SVU actor. His TV work encroaches on his life with the disappearance of a Russian friend, a Medical Examiner . Determined to uncover the truth, he plays cop. He's lead into the proverbial world of danger and intrigue. The “fictionalized real life aspect” turns out well. Thank goodness, for that is what attracted me to the book. It’s also nice having glimpses into “life on the set.” Whether it be a skirmish with the assistant producer, shooting schedule mishaps or the inside scoop on lunch catering, he grounds us in his non-fictional fiction with all the flair we’ve come to expect from him.

He kept me guessing for much of it, so I must give a nod. I don’t think I’d fare as well mustering up a “mystery” novel. But if I ever tackle it, may it be as much fun as I Am Not a Cop!

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