Safari – Parnell Hall – Stanley Hastings Series (Book # 19)
It’s been a while since I read a nice cozy murder mystery, and while the story is set in Zambia where Stanley Hastings and his wife Alice are on a safari, that is what Safari by Parnell Hall is. This is book 19 in the Stanley Hastings mystery series and the first to be set outside of the United States.The setting of the books is usually New York City where Stanley works as a private investigator for negligence attorney Richard Rosenberg and is a thorn in the side of New York Police Department Sergeant MacAullif. In fact the only other of the books set outside of New York was another cozy mystery apply titled Cozy! In that book Stanley and Alice are on vacation at a cozy bed and breakfast in New England!
But back to Zambia and Safari where Stanley and Alice are on the vacation trip that Alice has looked forward to forever. Stanley not so much! Anyway they have booked their safari with the low-budget Clemson Safari’s, headed up by the gung-ho great white hunter Clemson. The trip brings them up close to elephants, lions, hyenas and various other wild animals. Soon a spotter working for Clemson ends up dead after being hit on the head by a fruit from the sausage fruit tree,then a member of the tour dies in her sleep! The two deaths are determined not to be accidents but rather murder. Stanley is called on to solve the crime and as usual he doesn’t have a clue!
What Parnell does well is write dialogue, that cracks you up. Well, at least me! Marilyn Stasio of the New York Tines Book Review writes:
“The Stanley Hastings mysteries depend on subversively sly wordplay. In the violent verbal world he inhabits, Stanley would be happy just to win an argument.”
While the San Diego Union writes…..
“A light-hearted romp, drolly told, and made peasant by its deprecating , much put-upon and wholly charming hero”
When writing about the Stanly Hastings book Stakeout Booklist wrote….
“Stanley, who seems to have more in common with Barney Fife than Sam Spade, is actually a pretty fair detective, and, more important, his narration is witty, self-deprecating, and observant. The plot is logical in a convoluted sort of way, and the resolution is satisfying. Stakeout continues the Hastings tradition of murder with a wink and a smile.”
All of the above quotes capture what I love best about the Stanley Hastings books!
Bottom Line: Safari was a three star book for me. I liked it, but I don’t think it was one of Hall’s best books. It is what it is a cozy, light quick fun mystery! Fans of Janet Evanovich and other humorous authors will love this book!
(Book No 10 of 2015)