Fitzroy Maclean Angel
Created by Mike Ripley
"True love may be blind, but good sex sends you cross-eyed."
-- Angel on the meaning of life in That Angel Look.
Move over, Carlotta Carlyle and Steve Midnight and add London, England's FITZROY MACLEAN ANGEL to the the ranks of cab-drivin' PI's.
Angel is a loopy, randy, trumpet-playing thirty-something ne'er-do-well/private eye-by-chance. Another in a long line of eccentric Brits, Angel calls his trusty delicensed black Austin FX45 cab Armstrong, his black cat Springsteen and his sleeping bag Hemingway (but of course, he has no name for his trumpet because that would be silly). He's not really even a P.I. -- that would just be too organized and planned for such an easy-going lad as our Angel. Still, he manages to bumble his way into that position often enough to qualify. And, what with a little under the table P.I. work, and a little work as a roadie, cabbie, minder, and even occasionally as a musician, playing trumpet, he seems to make do.
Angel has rather eclectic tastes in music, alcohol, certain controlled substances and friends. In fact, Angel's friends arc as delightfully wonky as he is. There's Lisbeth and Fenella, the beauty and the beast lesbian couple downstairs; Werewolf, substance abuser and wildman extraordinaire; and Drunken Duncan, master mechanic. One of his favorite pastimes seems to be mooching records off friends to make tapes.
Both Angel Touch and Angel in Arms have won the Crime Writers' Association Last Laugh Award for Funniest Novel, in 1989 and 1991 respectively. Rightly so, I say-they're a hoot! And check out the non-Angel short story, "Lord Peter and the Butter Boy" for a refreshing take on Lord Peter Wimsey, Dorothy L. Sayers' stuffed shirt detective.
Author Ripley also co-editds (with Maxim Jakubowski) the Fresh Blood anthologies promoting new British crime writing. He's reviewed crime fiction for The Daily Telegraph and for Publishing News, and currently contributes to Shots magazine, but as far as I know has never given up his day job in the brewing industry. A true delight, well-written and extremely funny, witty, but always human. And well worth seeking out.
STRAIGHT FROM THE AUTHOR'S MOUTH
A while back, Ripley made it very, very clear that the eighth book in the series, That Angel Look, would be the last. And certainly, I hadn't seen any new books for a very long time in these parts. But since then I had heard that Ripley was busy adapting Angel In Arms for television for Granada. So, I figured maybe one day Angel would return... and it turns out I figured right, because I've just heard from some guy from England that' Angel has indeed returned. And I think we can trust this guy...
-- Mike Ripley, January 2002
- Of the final book, this is what had to say: "A fond and incredulous farewell to Ripley one of the best crime writers braving the dark alley today who vows that this will be his last novel. If true... it's a great exit... Yeasty, funny and absolutely of its time with the usual batch of maxims to brighten your day. "
-- Philip Oakes of The Literary Review on That Angel Look
- Just Another Angel (1988)
- Angel Touch (1989)
- Angel Hunt (1990)
- Angels In Arms (1991)
- Angel City (1994)
- Angel Confidential
- Family of Angels (1996)
- That Angel Look (1997)
- Bootlegged Angel (1999)
- Lights, Camera, Angel! (2001)
- Angel Underground (2002)
- Angel on the Inside (2003)
Some hot and not-so-hot wheels of some hot eyes.
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
Drop a dime. Your comments, suggestions, corrections and contributions are always welcome.
"...and I'll tell you right out that I'm a man who likes talking to a man that likes to talk."
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