No Cats, No Chocolate, by Ken Kuhlken and Alan Russell, Hickey’s Books, La Mesa
Book review by Miriam Raftery
February 10, 2013 (La Mesa)--What happens when a pair of formerly acclaimed but now down-on-their-luck mystery novelists hit rock bottom?
In No Cats, no Chocolate, local authors Ken Kuhlken and Alan Russell pen themselves in as the main characters. Best noted for their literary-quality mystery works, they resolve to make some quick cash writing a romance novel after an outline sent as a lark lands an assignment from a publisher. Delilah Bluefeather and Violet St. Claire ( the authors’ noms de plume), are born. Worse, they must complete the task in days, while on a road trip to jump-start their careers with a coveted appearance on Oprah’s show.
The book is a sequel to Road Kill, in which the same quirky duo embarked on a journey to convince readers across America to buy their books. It’s a clever literary trick for the authors to write themselves in as characters in their own works—and create a series to boot. As a former participant in a writing critique group led by Kuhlken, I can’t help wondering how many quirky traits described in the book are fact – and which are fiction?