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Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Don Bruns

Oceanview Publishing
December 6, 2010 / ISBN 978-1933515793

Reviewed by Dennis Collins

“More or Less Investigations” is the name of the freshly licensed detective agency run by Skip Moore and James Lessor. With next to no experience in private investigations the pair needs to accept any sort of paying job available. Skip Moore sells and installs household alarm systems and James has just taken a job as marketing director for a traveling carnival.

The carnival known as Moe Shows has recently been plagued by a series of suspicious accidents, one of which produced a fatality. Moe Bradley, owner of Moe Shows hires the pair to look into the string of mishaps to see if there has been any sabotage. Even the nebulous and naïve detectives have to wonder why they were contracted for a large fee even though they had no references or track record. But they accept the deal and blunder ahead.

The investigation is barely underway when one of the concessionaires is found murdered in his travel trailer.

Skip’s girlfriend Em shows up to provide a little logic and organization to the inquiry and their P.I. buddy Jody comes to the rescue to supply them with state of the art electronic surveillance devices with the promise to “bill you later.”

It seems as if all of the carnies know why Skip and James are aboard. The rookie detectives face obstacles at every turn. At one point a pair of ride operators try to scare them with a ferocious ride on the “Dragon’s Tail” and a Tequila swilling dwarf who runs the petting zoo makes them feel most unwelcome. James is assaulted in the fun house and one of the staff’s dogs even steals Skip’s spy pen.

To make matters worse the boyfriend of one of Moe Bradley’s two sisters, who co-own Moe Shows, imposes a deadline on Skip and James to come up with some answers.

Author Don Bruns keeps this story moving at a high rate of speed. His characters appear to run in circles at times but there are good reasons for everything that happens in the book. The humorous dialog keeps things from slowing down even when bringing out otherwise potentially boring details.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff is a really fun book to read and it’s just light enough to consume in large chunks.

Reviewer Dennis Collins is the author of Turn Left at September and The Unreal McCoy
Reviewed 2011
© 2011