Reviews of Dark Fiction

Born For Trouble: The Further Adventures of Hap and Leonard by Joe Lansdale

As the title indicates, BORN FOR TROUBLE is a collection of stories about Hap and Leonard-two of my favorite people in all of literature. It’s Lansdale. It’s Hap and Leonard. It’s a winner right out of the gate!

I’ve read a few of these stories elsewhere, but I didn’t mind reading them again. COCO BUTTERNUT is one of the funniest stories I’ve ever read and to be honest? Revisiting this tale was pure delight. Everything I love about this duo is here. Their humor, their love for each other, Hap’s love for Brett and Leonard’s love of poking Hap by calling Coco Butternut, (a dog, by the way), everything BUT Coco Butternut, left me feeling like I had come home again.

SAD ONIONS and THE BRIAR PATCH BOOGIE were, once again, delightful. HOODOO HARRY is one of my favorite Lansdale stories and it was a pleasure to revisit it. A bookmobile plays a large part in this tale and those have a special place in my heart. (As a lover of libraries, growing up where there weren’t many close by, the bookmobile inspired a love of reading in my heart, and delivered books almost right to my door.)

COLD COTTON-this was a new story to me, and it had everything. A mystery to figure out, interesting, vivid characters, and of course, Joe Lansdale’s down-to-earth sense of humor that gets me every time.

There is nothing pretentious, nothing noble here, only fabulous story-telling. It seems obvious to me that the author loves these characters, and he says as much in the introduction. I didn’t need to read that to know it, because it shows in nearly every word written in this volume.

Many of you may know that Hap and Leonard had their own TV show for a while. I watched and loved it, but unfortunately it got canceled. (I can’t for the life of me figure out why.) Both the main actors were cultural icons, but Michael K. Williams will forever be Leonard in my mind. Michael recently passed on, but there is a lovely dedication to him at the beginning of this book that brought a tear to my eye. Whenever I read about Leonard now, I see Michael K. Williams’ face and I hear his voice in my head. NO ONE could have done a better job in that role.

To recap: Hap and Leonard. Joe Lansdale’s trademark sense of humor. (If it’s not trademarked, it should be.) Interesting mysteries and vivid characters. Masterful story-telling. All of which add up to this: Joe Lansdale is a national treasure. He never fails to make me laugh or to keep me interested, even if I’ve read the story before. I don’t care which genre he’s writing in, if it’s Lansdale, I’ll read it. You should too!

Highly recommended!

Thank you to Tachyon Publications, NetGalley and Kasey Landale for the ARC in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!

Born For Trouble: The Further Adventures of Hap and Leonard Book Cover Born For Trouble: The Further Adventures of Hap and Leonard
Joe R. Lansdale
Mystery, Crime
03/21/2022
Paperback
272
Tachyon Publications

When you meet him, Hap Collins seems like just a good ol’ boy. But even in his misspent youth, his best pal was Leonard Pine: black, gay, and the ultimate outsider. Together, they have sort of found their way as partners in crime-solving—and at least as often, as hired muscle.

As Hap wrestles with his new identity as a husband and father, and Leonard finds love in a long-term relationship, the boys continue their crime-solving shenanigans. They grapple with a stolen stuffed dog, uncover the sordid secret of a missing bookmobile, compete in a warped version of the Most Dangerous Game, regroup after Hap’s visit to the psychologist goes terribly awry, and much more.

So sit yourself back and settle in—Born for the Trouble is East Texas mayhem as only the master mojo storyteller Lansdale could possibly tell.

About the Hap and Leonard short story series

Hap and Leonard
Hap and Leonard: Blood and Lemonade
The Big Book of Hap and Leonard (digital only)
Of Mice and Minestrone

The classic Hap Collins and Leonard Pine mystery series began in in 1990 with Savage Season. Hap and Leonard made their screen debuts in the three season Hap and Leonard TV series, starring Michael K. Williams (The Wire), James Purefoy (The Following), and Christina Hendricks (Mad Men).

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