Robert Crais began the Elvis Cole/Joe Pike series in 1987 with the release of The Monkey’s Raincoat. Since then Crais has written fourteen more novels featuring the two members of Elvis’ detective agency. I have read seven of the novels, starting with 1993’s release Free Fall (Book #4) and ending with Book #11 Chasing Darkness in 2008. (I missed No 6 Sunset Express released in 1996). I also missed books 1,2 and 3! Don’t ask me why!.
At the beginning of this month I wrote two posts. The first post, Six Great Mystery Series and Their First Books lists six books that I have read that start a great mystery series. The second post was Books to Read to Start Three Great Series. In the second post, one of the books was The Monkey’s Raincoat, which was sitting on my TBR bookshelves! When I discovered the 2015 TBR Pile Challenge at CarpeLibrum Giirl, it became a no-brainer that I was going to read The Monkey’s Raincoat and I did so in a little over one day!!
Remember when I said before don’t ask me why, I hadn’t read this book before, well, that was the question that I asked myself when I was done!! The second question, which followed quickly was – why did you STOP reading this series?? The answer must lie in the saying “Too Many Books, Too Little Time” because it doesn’t lay in the quality of the books. I love both of the lead characters in the series and the storylines were always great. All I can say is, that I hope to get back into the later books of the series, soon!
But now back to The Monkey’s Raincoat released back in 1987. The book received the following accolades:
Macavity Award for Best First Mystery Novel (1988),
Anthony Award for Best Paperback Original (1988),
Shamus Award Nominee for Best Original PI Paperback (1988),
Edgar Award Nominee for Best Paperback Original (1988)
From the back of the book…..
Ellen Lang has lost something very valuable indeed -her husband and young son. The case seems simple enough, but PI Elvis Cole and his sociopath sidekick Joe Pike aren’t thrilled by the prospect of another straightforward domestic…
But all is not what it seems. Their search down these seamy side of Hollywood’s studio lots and sculpted lawns soon lands Elvis and Joe deep in the non-Disney world of drugs sex and murder. Things are looking up – and soon everybody, from the cops to starlets to crooks has declared war on the good guys. For Ellen, Hollywood isn’t Funtown any more. For Elvis it’s a good living. He hopes.
Bottomline: The Monkey’s Raincoat is a solid 4 to 4.5 out of 5!! I loved the plot,along with both Elvis and Joe! Elvis’ humorous personality adds relief from the grim reality that Ellen Lang has to deal with, and Joe Pike protects them both!! Just don’t ask how?? Now Book #2 in the series is Stalking the Angel and is available for Kindle at $5.99 amd Book #3 Lullaby Town is on my TBR Pile. Do I read # 2 first and then #3 or just jump to #3??? Decisions. Decisions!!