Published by Doubleday on July 31, 2018
Genres: Mystery, Noir, Humor
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In a dingy office in Fisherman's Wharf, the glass panel in the door bears the names of A. Kimrean and Z. Kimrean. Private Eyes. Behind the door there is only one desk, one chair, one scrawny androgynous P.I. in a tank top and skimpy waistcoat. A.Z., as they are collectively known, are twin brother and sister. He's pure misanthropic logic, she's wild hedonistic creativity. A.Z. have been locked in mortal battle since they were in utero...which is tricky because they, very literally, share one single body. That's right. One body, two pilots. The mystery and absurdity of how Kimrean functions, and how they subvert every plotline, twist, explosion, and gunshot--and confuse every cop, neckless thug, cartel boss, ninja, and femme fatale--in the book is pure Cantero magic.
Someone is murdering the sons of the ruthless drug cartel boss known as the Lyon in the biggest baddest town in California--San Carnal. The notorious A.Z. Kimrean must go to the sin-soaked, palm-tree-lined streets of San Carnal, infiltrate the Lyon's inner circle, and find out who is targeting his heirs, and while they are at it, rescue an undercover cop in too deep, deal with a plucky young stowaway, and stop a major gang war from engulfing California. They'll face every plot device and break every rule Elmore Leonard wrote before they can crack the case, if they don't kill each other (themselves) first.
This Body's Not Big Enough for Both of Us is a mind-blowing, gender-bending, genre-smashing romp through the entire pantheon of action and noir. It is also a bold, tautly crafted novel about family, being weird, and claiming your place in your own crazy story, that can only come from the mind of Edgar Cantero.
Loved, loved, loved This Body’s Not Big Enough for Both of Us. In San Francisco, there’s a dingy little office that bears the names of A. Kimrean and Z. Kimrean Private Eyes, but anyone who walks into the office will be surprised to see one androgynous person sitting there, and nowhere near enough space for a second detective. Adrian and Zooey Kimrean are brother and sister, conjoined twins, who share the same whole body and brain. Adrian is all logic and little emotion, able to jump to deductions like Sherlock Holmes; Zooey is wild, carefree, and a bit of a nymphomaniac. Together they make an excellent team, when they aren’t trying to figure out a way to push the other one out of consciousness so that only one can be in control… but what siblings don’t have their little squabbles?
So, we’ve got a Private Investigator who is hired by the SFPD to stop a gang war and get an undercover agent out safely. And it’s well done. The mystery is strong and kept me guessing. We’ve got baddies and car chases and shoot outs. There’s even a nice twist. But it’s also a satire of the noir genre. The author plays with a lot of the traditions, laughs at its own cliches. Humor doesn’t usually work for me, as I’m sure my husband and daughter would tell you. The joke around our house is that I have no sense of humor. I don’t tend to find the same things funny as others. But this was hilarious. It’s the kind of snarky, witty, slightly dark sense of humor that I really enjoy. It’s occasionally vulgar, but doesn’t rely on crassness for all of its laughs.
This Body’s Not Big Enough for Both of Us is not going to be for everyone. It’s chock full of pop references and uncomfortable situations. The characters are entertaining, but often purposefully stereotypical, like the ninja with a katana. You have to love the noir concept but be willing to go along for an off-beat, slightly crazy, slightly goofy ride. I found it incredibly entertaining.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: