Joey Fine
Created by Arnie Greenberg

In his self-published 2012 detective novel, A Fine Conundrum, Canadian author Arnie Greenberg takes us back to the good old days in Quebec, when the FLQ was still blowing up mailboxes and the nationalism call was being heeded by long-haired left-leaning radicals, not the pin-striped xenophobic thugs we have today.

But I digress...

It's late summer in 1970, the end of another stifling, steamy Montreal summer, but beer-guzzling private eye JOEY FINE isn't getting much relief. Bills are way overdue, and there isn't a clients in sight.

And then in through Joey's office door struts Martha Dawes, a dame who wants Joey to investigate the missing moolah from her dad's estate, and track down her younger half-brother, who's taken a convenient powder. What can a poor boy do? Joey takes the case.

Naturally things aren't quite what they seem, and soon enough, politics -- as well as good old murder -- supposedly rear their ugly heads.

I say "supposedly," because I haven't read it yet, although a quick glance at some poorly edited online previews aren't very promising. There doesn't seem to be much very Montrealish about things, beyond a (very) little by-rote local place name dropping and a few obligatory French surnames. But even that was marred by some god-awful punctuation and the author referring to Aretha Franklin as "a local newcomer."

"A local newcomer"? WTF?

Arnie Greenberg is a retired professor who has written for the Canadian Broadcasting Company and acted as chief adjudicator for the CBC's long-running high school quiz show Reach for the Top. He has authored numerous articles, plays, and novels; he also owned and operated his own travel company. He currently lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. I wonder if he's ever been to Montreal...

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Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.


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