HH Com 155

Corporate Kahuna Rory Connolly hasn’t stuck to the facts except under duress in seventeen years. When an unprecedented attack of honesty convinces him to cut short his first-ever extramarital adventure, he fears his careless use of the truth will lead to trouble.

Treasa Connolly is a school teacher with a flair for vigilante justice. When she catches Rory trimming his nose hairs before a last-minute late-night “sales presentation,” she decides to add Fun With Scissors to her husband’s curriculum.

Rebecca Rasner, human resources specialist and ex-wife of the next Secretary of Commerce, worries that emailing her fantasies about three-way sex the morning of their first date might have given Rory the wrong idea. What she really wants is to discuss the crisis in Mogadishu and progress at the G-8 Summit.

In my mystery, RELAXING THE TRUTH, Rory’s clumsy experiments with sincerity leave both women hell bent on making him suffer. Within days he is jobless, homeless, and undergoing surgery at the hands of a motel clerk in a Napalm Death tee shirt. He’s also trying to outrun a steroid-swilling cop who keeps nursing an inferiority complex and brandishing two murder warrants with Rory’s name on them.

The harder Rory fights to prove his innocence, the guiltier he feels about everything else in his life. As he struggles to regain the respect of his wife -- legitimately this time -- Rory must prove the truth really can set him free. Too bad he doesn’t have more experience with it.

MYSTERY??? There's a mystery here? Who's dead? You're drenched in character description but there's no hint of a plot.

You've done well to avoid saying "this is a comical mystery novel" since we can see that from your writing, but it will help to know there's a plot.

You've got good form, you just messed up the landing. 8.5 from the Russian mafia judge.


JPD said...

A man who has clumsy notions about women? Vengeful women wielding scissors?

JPD (It could happen to you next!)

Virginia Miss said...

Lots of cute stuff in here -- I just love your Kahuna Rory -- but I also got confused by the mentions of "murder warrents" and "mystery." Are you missing a sentence from the fourth paragraph?

Anonymous said...

I was in with the clipping of the nose hairs and the wife's scissors line. Too funny.

tomdg said...

I like this. On the one hand, it's a madcap comedy in the style of Tom Sharpe - the third paragraph in particular suggests this - but underneath it all, there's a serious story about a compulsive liar trying to mend his ways and his marriage. Nice combination, I might enjoy reading this one.

But why do you describe it as a mystery?

HawkOwl said...

"Murder warrants?" As in warrants to murder him? Harsh.

I think as a comedy, there is a little too much of everything being thrown in. Just the finance + love triangle would have been funny, I think. Finance + love triangle + mystery is greedy.

aries said...

I'm glad MS finally said "good form" for a hook that included descriptions of multiple characters. I was wondering how a "Waiting To Exhale" type novel would pass muster. Even if this hook "messed up the landing" the author did a great job of showing how the characters relate to the central plot.

December Quinn said...

Yep, I think it sounds really fun, but what mystery?

Ski said...

Maybe the hook didn't make the grade but I'd like to have a look at the finished product. I have this feeling that it's good. I really want to know what happens to the main character, it just might be a great adventure. Good Luck.


CoyoteMom said...

Great sense of humor. If this were on the inside flap of a book, I'd buy it. Good luck on your finished work!

WickedSmaht said...

Ah, the scent of Hiaasen again. Cheating, stupid husbands; vengeful wives; strange characters in T-shirts; it's all there! Try Native Tongue to see where all that steroid swilling leads. From what I've seen so far, though, it looks like it could be a nice airplane read.

This has a nice tone to it, but as others have pointed out, it lacks some relevant plot points to help the hookee understand what the heck is going on. And if you're going to write a mystery, even a comic one, then make sure that you have your legal terminology straight. Nothing kicks a reader out of a book as quickly as a phrase like "murder warrants."

(And if you are a Hiaasen fan, then please double-check your story to make sure that you aren't unintentionally stealing any plot points. No one wants to see another "Opahl Mehta" incident...)

michaelgav said...

Hey guys, thanks to those who offered feedback, and to Miss Snark, and even to the Russian judge.

This is a good example of how a badly chosen word can undo / screw up / distract from the effect a writer works to achieve.

I'd written a hook to play up the mystery aspect of the story, and another one to play up the comedy. Then melded them somewhat. Badly.

But this is instructive all the same. I'm grateful to have a chance to fix the damn thing before it starts confusing the agents on the receiving end.

Sonarbabe said...

I think it sounds hilarious. I loved the steroid-swilling cop line. Haha However, the hook does need a little cleaning up. Best of luck!