New York Times Bestselling Author

Book Review: Humor

Posted on Jul 10, 2017 |

Handcuffs, Truncheons and a Polyester Thong by Gina Kirkham



This is sort of a novel. It’s written episodically, with interconnected chapters. If it were a blog or a series of teleplays for a sitcom, it would work, but its attempts to be a novel, or at least novel-like, don’t.

There are definitely some laughs throughout. The first chapter is strong–hilarious. The story of single mother, thirty-something Mavis Upton has potential. Mavis is likeable in that she doesn’t spend her days fretting about her ex-husband or how she’ll get a man. Her concerns are her mom and seven-year-old daughter, Ella, and being the best police officer she can be.

Unfortunately, there are a LOT of snot/booger/fart jokes. More significantly, this book desperately needed a professional editor. Had the author hired one, the editor would have cut out every single use of the word “rather.” The word is abused horribly. The phrase “rather fetching” comes up dozens of times. On one page, there might be “rather fetching,” “rather plump,” and “rather attractive.”

The editor would have also deleted cliches like “avoided like the plague” and “eyes as big as saucers.” This author can write light humor–she has some fun turns of phrase like “Ella gave him a glacial stare that would have frozen the testicles off a polar bear.”

The other problem is that in most cases, you can figure out the gist of the misunderstanding or dilemma Mavis will find herself in at the beginning of the chapter–you can see the joke coming, which makes it not as funny because part of humor is the unexpected. I think Kirkham would have been better served to focus on the story rather than trying to be hilarious. Then, she’d have a better book that sometimes had some humor in it.

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