REVIEW – Frank Sinatra in a Blender by Matthew McBride

I decided to give this book a read on the recommendation of my friend, Govneh.  In fact, since she had already read the book, she sent it my way.  A couple of months passed and the book had not yet shown up on my doorstep.  Then the Post Office returned to her the few scraps of paper that somehow didn’t end up in the bowels of the eldritch sorting machine that lurked in the heart of Post Office Town.


The book was destroyed or lost.  She lamented on twitter about this horrible crime against literature.  Thankfully, Matthew McBride, the author of the book, heard her keening wails.  He did an awesome awesome thing and sent another copy straight to me.  I thank him for that.  So then I got on to reading the book.  What did I think about it?

Frank Sinatra In A Blender

Frank Sinatra in a Blender is a pulp Noir story about a crime gone wrong.  Nick Valentine is a PI in St. Louis who gets put on the case to find out what the hell is going on.  He was once a detective on the police force, but he isn’t any longer, probably due to the never ending torrent of alcohol and drugs he uses to function.  His Yorkshire Terrier, Frank Sinatra, is his companion whenever he returns home.

I really seriously don’t want to give any more details than this.  The story shouldn’t be spoiled.

There are many vicious, bloody scenes.  There is lust, dishonesty, addiction, revenge, gruesome murder, deadly dealings, and a multitude of other nasty human habits.  Nobody in real life should act like anyone in this story.  Only horrible people would enjoy a story like this.

I really really enjoyed this story.

It grabs a hold of you within the first few paragraphs, drags you into the passenger seat of a wild ride (all the while shoving booze down your throat and powder up your nose), careens over speed-bumps (or were those bodies?), and then doesn’t even slow down to pitch you out the door at the end.  It Does Not Relent.

It took me less than a day to read this.  At about 200 pages, it’s not a very long book.  There are no deep ideas or new concepts introduced in this story.  It’s simply a really fun pulp.

The only problem that I can see with the story is that all of the female characters are simply set dressing.  They have few lines and are inconsequential.  Even Raymond Chandler wrote more fully developed women almost 80 years ago.  I hope future stories by Matthew McBride include or even feature three dimensional female characters.

If you couldn’t tell already, I recommend this book.  But not to everybody.  You know your own taste.  This fits my taste well.  Well done, Matthew McBride.  Frank Sinatra in a Blender made me smile the whole time I read it.

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