Reviewed by Lisa Brown-Gilbert
Dispensing to mystery-thirsty minds, a winning combination of adventure, mystery, Pigeon racing, and private investigation, is William Leroy’s Deadly Droppings, a work that faithfully adds to his series of Maximo Morgan Mystery books. Also, delightfully, there is an included, unique perk to this book, as the book offers a two-for-one read, while the other side of the book features another Maximo Morgan mystery, titled Humble Pie. Purchase Here.
Albeit, this narrative, presents a deeply entangled story that piques the interest on many levels, things start out simply. First, we meet Maximo Morgan, a robust character, both physically and mentally. He’s in his office so to speak which is his desk in a Mr. Quickies copy shop where he works as a notary public servicing Quickie shop customers in exchange for desk space which is where he also provides another service, private investigations, selling his investigative talents to the interested public at large.
Moreover, Maximo is not alone. He has company, Bill Crowe, a former co-worker from the United States postal service where the two worked together at one time. As they talk and trade stories, the tone of their conversation changes as Bill expresses that he has a problem. His pride and joy, Homer Crowe is missing and he needs Maximo Morgan to be on the case, especially because his price is right.
Meanwhile, Maximo along with his teenage sidekick, (a young admirer who wants to be a private investigator), begins to sort things out and works on the investigation. However, as the investigation proceeds, Maximo, realizes something is not quite right as clues begin to point towards quite a different situation. An earnest Maximo believed he was looking for a friend’s missing teenage son but as he sorts through evidence he soon comes to realize that things are not as they seem. Max is really looking for something of a different nature and not a possible teenage runaway. As time ticks and a competitor rears his “ugly” head, Maximo has to make moves to get to the heart of the mystery of the disappearing Homer.
Altogether, I was delighted in reading, Deadly Droppings. This colorful, intelligent, and twisted detective fiction was not only a creative romp through the “hard-boiled detective” genre but it was also creatively twisted and even edifying in its content. In particular, the aspect concerning the multi-faceted, world of pigeon racing, especially the history and use of pigeons in general, I found not only intensely engaging but also refreshing as this is a topic not often visited in mystery books. I enjoyed the journey into the world of private detectives and learning their standards of investigation, the sorting of evidence, the process of eliminating suspects, the vibrant characterizations, detective vernacular as well the quick dips, into other well-known, hard-boiled detective stories. This is definitely a great addition to any mystery lovers’ library especially those into uniquely formatted, collectible books and I definitely do recommend it. As a matter of fact, this would make a great TV/cable mystery series.
Reviewed by Rahul Gaur
Humble Pie by William Leroy is a captivating and thought-provoking novel that explores the complexities of family dynamics, mental illness, and the pursuit of success. Divided into twenty-one chapters, the book takes readers on a journey through the lives of Maximo Morgan, Mimi Everheart, Mamie Motley, and her son Algernon. Purchase Here.
LeRoy’s writing style is engaging and accessible, with vivid descriptions of food that are sure to make readers’ mouths water. From the opening chapter, it’s clear that he has a talent for creating realistic and relatable characters, as well as a knack for pacing and plot development. The plot is well-crafted, with plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader engaged throughout. LeRoy deftly weaves together themes of family, love, loss, and redemption in a way that feels both authentic and uplifting.
One of the book’s strengths is its focus on character development. Maximo is struggling to make ends meet and has no cases to work on, while Mamie Motley and her son Algernon, who has returned home with the dream of opening a restaurant despite his diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Mimi Everheart, a wealthy woman who believes herself to be of noble birth and holds a grudge against Camilla. The novel provides insight into the characters’ thoughts and struggles, with each character facing unique challenges and aspirations. The author’s writing style is descriptive and engaging, drawing the reader into the characters’ lives and making them feel invested in their stories.
One of the most compelling aspects of “Humble Pie” is the way LeRoy explores the theme of mental illness. The portrayal of Algie’s verbal self-stimulations (The person speaks very loudly and frequently says things that are not appropriate.) They often repeat words and phrases that they learned as a child, especially from nursery rhymes, which they still remember very well) are so real that they give goosebumps.
What sets Humble Pie apart as an enjoyable read is the variety of its characters and their individual experiences. The book also touches on important social issues such as autism, privilege, and mental illness and does so in a way that is both sensitive and thought-provoking.