Set in an amusing parody of earth — a doppelganger, if you will, of the very place we call home — is a distinctly odd but interesting mystery. There is only one person capable of finding the answers; Petchy Maligula, Private Investigator.
The heart throb of the History Channel, the host of “I Dig the Past,” Faladan Pala has disappeared. Petchy, along with hundreds of other women, is absolutely devastated. He is rumored to have been kidnapped, and Petchy is on the case. Faladan is a handsome, lithe and friendly man, loved by those around him.
Petchy, as she would describe herself is definitely unlithe. In point of fact, she is not even good looking. She is a huge woman, but a very capable one. As she is drawn deeper into the mysterious absence of Faladan Pala, bodies begin to pile up. Different factions of the city and surrounding areas become immersed in the case. As each new clue turns up, it only creates further mystery.
The plot thickens as the History Channel hires an alternate host to temporarily replace Faladan, sending the investigation into false directions. It will take all of Petchy’s interesting and bizarre techniques to set the course to rescue her hero. And while it is an oddly straightforward, albeit strange and foreboding mystery, leading our heroine into untold areas, there is no way that she will have been able to foresee the bizarre and unusual ending.
In Petchy Maligula, Stan Carter has brought us an earth just a bit different then the one that we know. It is inhabited by humans as well as aliens. Magic is still somewhat rare, but a very acceptable practice. The main setting for the story is the city of Betroit in Mechigan. Do not check your glasses; this is the correct spelling. This story is littered with this type of distinction. It is a dangerous and amusing world, so close to our own and yet just a bit off kilter. I was alternately amused and annoyed at times by the parallels, but always entertained.
Petchy is an extremely interesting character and a very ample heroine. She dabbles a little in magic but is also bestowed with paranormal abilities. Her girl Friday’s are both ghosts who do her bidding, sometimes gracefully, often times not. Lady Cresta Victaria Menden reached this state by being the thirteenth victim of Jack the slasher. Liddy McDade, her other helper, was run over by a trolley. Liddy was also eleven at the time of her death, but she is a funny and willful ghost. Both have distinct personalities and add their own slant to the wild and crazy happenings in the story.
Petchy always carries her boob gun, very well encased to her bosom, and is a crack shot. She is sarcastic and crude, having belonged to a grrls (correct spelling) gang in her earlier years. She is the great, great, etc., etc. grand daughter to the Empress Maligula, a character in her own right, known for a particular appetite, and a device that was used on the male slaves that did not please her. This is also a part of the mystique of Petulanta as Petchy was christened at birth.
I enjoyed this story although it was a little difficult to get through. I generally read quickly, but because of the different spelling I had to go back a few times to make sure I was correct. It is sometime a laugh out loud, maybe a chuckle, or just a slightly annoying read, but the story line is a winner. In all its absurdity, I found that I really enjoyed it. I believe that you will either love it or hate it, but it certainly captures the imagination. This is a fun and frivolous read, humor and imagination at its height.