Authors: Joe R. Lansdale
“A SPRINGLOADED PAGE-TURNER, a mean rattlesnake of a novel that rears up and sinks its fangs into you when you least expect it. Readers already familiar with Lansdale’s work won’t want to miss this one, and as for those who aren’t—where the hell have you been?”
—F. Paul Wilson, author of
“IT’S THE SNAPPY, FREQUENTLY RAUNCHY DIALOGUE that widens the eyes and provides the burst of humor. . . . When you read a novel starring Leonard Pine and Hap Collins, you spend a lot of time laughing and shaking your head. Emulating an early hero, Mark Twain, he uses crisp dialogue and humor to leaven serious topics.”
Rocky Mountain News
“I’ve never read anything like it. Not just a fine mystery full of unexpected moves, but a better novel about black-white friendship and rural life than anything I’ve ever read. I LOVED IT, MAN, THOUGHT IT WAS A HOWL FROM BEGINNING TO END.”
—James Crumley, author of
The Mexican Tree Duck
“JOE LANSDALE IS ONE OF PUBLISHING’S BEST-KEPT SECRETS.”
Dallas Morning News
“SAVAGELY ENTERTAINING . . . TAP DANCES THROUGH TWIN MINEFIELDS OF RACE AND OFF-BEAT SEX. . . . To read this novel is to live in that terrible and exhilarating moment between the knife-cut and the pain, between the gush of blood and the deadly onset of shock.”
—Joe Gores, author of
“THOUGHTFUL AND WITTY . . . Lansdale sneaks over philosophic points cleverly. I can’t remember a more entertaining blueprint for the way blacks and whites, gays and straights can live in friendship.”
“JOE R. LANSDALE IS A BORN STORYTELLER, AND
is the story he was born to tell. This is the kind of mystery that would make Agatha Christie hide under the bed.”
—Robert Bloch, author of
“SATISFYING . . . EXTRAORDINARILY MEMORABLE. The friendship and smart-ass patter between Hap and Leonard is so real it’s palpable. The plot is compelling. And one can practically hear the wind and taste the dust of an East Texas summer. Damn, this is good.”
“A GRIPPING PLOT lays bare the East Texas mindset, unexplained murders, and raw truth about ugly secrets. A GREAT READ.”
Los Angeles Features Syndicate
“A CROSS BETWEEN ROBERT B. PARKER AND STEPHEN KING. . . . It gets your attention, that’s for sure.”
San Jose Mercury News
“JOE R. LANSDALE HAS STAKED HIS CLAIM AND STRUCK PAYDIRT with his macabre tale of a serial killer in MUCHO MOJO. . . . I often found myself grinning like an idiot while reading MUCHO MOJO, thanks to Lansdale’s strange, often ribald humor.”
“THE PROSE IS HARD-BITTEN, THE TONE DARKLY HUMOROUS.”
“NOT ONLY A TOP-DRAWER THRILLER, BUT A SOCIAL PORTRAIT OF A SOCIETY IN PAINFUL EVOLUTION. . . . There’s a touch of Harry Crews in him, a streak of Cormac McCarthy . . . Joe R. Lansdale keeps his own voice, and it’s one well worth listening to and enjoying. . . . MUCHO MOJO will make you both laugh and wince, and keep on turning the pages.”
IS SOME MAJOR MAGIC . . . as funny as all get-out . . . a story of richness of character and setting. . . . It’s not inappropriate to place it in the tradition of cross-cultural buddy novels that goes back through
It’s that good.”
Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinal
“A REAL NAIL-BITING PAGE TURNER . . . [with] truly memorable characters . . . a superbly crafted and compelling murder mystery . . . a worthwhile addition to the category of the gay mystery.”
“LANSDALE COULD EASILY SWEEP THE AWARDS. . . . The hypnotic otherworldly setting alone is worth the read, but the lead characters are wonderfully charming. Readers can only hope the author will bring them back.”
“MORE THAN A MYSTERY,
is about friendship, family loyalty, and pride. . . . Lansdale is one of the best regional novelists around.”
“BRILLIANTLY EXECUTED. . . . One thing about Lansdale, he’s always exploring new directions. He’s one of America’s most gifted writers, and MUCHO MOJO proves why.”
“A SUPERB WORK. . . . embraces the mystery field while transcending its every convention. . . . One of the best novels of the year. . . . READ IT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE—YOU WON’T BE DISAPPOINTED.”
“Hunting Joe R. Lansdale novels has provided me with many of my most delicious moments as a book collector. . . . He is this generation’s one and only answer to Frederic Brown, Seabury Quinn, Manly Wade Wellman, H. P. Lovecraft, all those gleeful pulp gods of the 1940s. . . . He’s got a wicked streak the size of the Rio Grande and a compassionate streak at least as long. HE’S ALREADY PRODUCED THREE FLAT-OUT CLASSICS, AND HE’LL WRITE MORE.”
ACT OF LOVE
THE MAGIC WAGON
DEAD IN THE WEST
THE DRIVE-IN: A B-Movie with Blood and Popcorn, Made in Texas
THE DRIVE-IN II: Not Just One of Them Sequels
COLD IN JULY
CAPTURED BY THE ENGINES
THE TWO-BEAR MAMBO
TERROR ON THE HIGH SKIES
Short Story Collections
BY BIZARRE HANDS
STORIES BY MAMA LANSDALE’S YOUNGEST BOY
WRITER OF THE PURPLE RAGE
BEST OF THE WEST
(with Pat LoBrutto)
DARK AT HEART
(with Karen Lansdale)
WEIRD BUSINESS (with Rick Klaw)
THE WEST THAT WAS
(with Thomas W. Knowles)
THE WILD WEST SHOW
(with Thomas W. Knowles)
THE MYSTERIOUS PRESS
Published by Warner Books
A Time Warner Company
. Copyright © 1994 by Joe R. Lansdale. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review.
For information address Warner Books, 1271 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020.
The Mysterious Press name and logo are registered trademarks of Warner Books, Inc.
A Time Warner Company
A hardcover edition of this book was published in 1994 by Mysterious Press.
First eBook edition: May 2001
Visit our Web site at www.iPublish.com
This book is dedicated with love and respect and the deepest devotion to the most imortant person in my life. My wife, Karen.
Thanks are in order for some folks who helped see this project through: Barbara Puechner; Andrew Vachss; Neal Barrett, Jr.; David Webb; and of course, Jeff Banks. I’d also like to give a nod toward my old rose-field buddies, Sam Griffith and Larry Walters, and thank my “Aunt” Ardath as well as my karate instructor, Richard Metteauer.
It doesn’t matter whom you are paired against; your opponent is always yourself.
It was July and hot and I was putting out sticks and not thinking one whit about murder.
All the other rose-field jobs are bad, the budding, the digging, but putting out sticks, that’s the job they give sinners in Hell.
You do sticks come dead of summer. Way it works is they give you this fistful of bud wood, and you take that and sigh and turn and look down the length of the field, which goes on from where you are to some place east of China, and you gird your loins, bend over, and poke those sticks in the rows a bit apart. You don’t lift up if you don’t have to, ’cause otherwise you’ll never finish. You keep your back bent and you keep on poking, right on down that dusty row, hoping eventually it’ll play out, though it never seems to, and of course that East Texas sun, which by 10:30
is like an infected blister leaking molten pus, doesn’t help matters.