Author of fifteen novels, Michael Craft is best known for his Mark Manning mysteries about a gay investigative reporter who moves from Chicago to Dumont, Wisconsin, to become publisher of the local daily. His new novel, FlabberGassed: A Mister Puss Mystery, begins a new cozy series that features the clever and dashing gay architect, Brody Norris, as an amateur detective; a cast of diverse and eccentric locals; and the eponymous Mister Puss, a (sort of) talking cat ... As a reader, I don’t usually reach for a cozy...but Craft’s delightful prose and warm wit, finding myself charmed by this quirky and insightful mystery.
California transplant Brody Norris has made a wonderful life for himself in Dumont, Wisconsin, with his husband and architectural partner, Marson. When Brody is given the opportunity to design the flagship facility for a nascent weight-loss company, he jumps at the chance even if the business itself is somewhat suspect ... Brody is beginning to have second thoughts about his involvement even before a FlabberGas demonstration for investors results in the death of Frumpkin’s son-in-law. The man has been accidentally FlabberGassed to death. Now Brody—a problem-solver by profession—must discover who is behind this deadly bit of sabotage ... Craft writes in a crisp, lively prose that highlights the quirks of his colorful cast of characters ... Frequent readers of the genre will have little trouble guessing who the killer is, and the talking cat may strike some as a superfluous (and overly cute) element. But Craft’s talents for characterization and intricate plotting make the novel an entertaining read.