Monday, October 27, 2008

Review: A Jolly Good Fellow by Stephen V. Masse

"You don't mind if I stay?"

I look at him, try to figure out if he means it for real. Maybe he thinks I'm a relative, or one of his father's flunkies. "Of course you're gonna stay."

"Because I need certain things, he says. "Like for breakfast, Cap'n Crunch and Fruit Loops, and Frosted Flakes. And Hostess Doughnuts. Then for lunch, macaroni and cheese, frozen pizza, stuff like that." [pg 5]

A Jolly Good Fellow by Stephen V. Masse
Good Harbor Press, 2008
Crime Fiction (S/T); 203 pgs

Things could not have worked out better for Duncan Wagner when 11-year-old Gabriel Booker jumps in his car a week before Christmas. He was hitchhiking in an effort to run away from home. You see, Duncan had been trying to kidnap the state representative’s son, and the boy’s sudden appearance in his car made it all the more easy.

The two make an odd pair, this kidnapper and boy. While Duncan tries to play the role of the tough kidnapper, he fails miserably at it. He has too big of a heart. And his prey, Gabriel, isn’t exactly playing his part either. He sees the kidnapping as an escape from his parents; it’s an adventure of sorts. The two form a fast friendship during the week that Duncan waits for Win Booker to pay his son’s ransom.

The story is narrated by Duncan in his own vernacular, which makes for an effective mode of storytelling and keeps the book moving right along. Stephen V. Masse’s novel is both funny and charming even if predictable. It is easy to see why Duncan would fall for Gabriel, a sweet and polite boy who is looking for attention and someone to listen to him. Despite his lifestyle of crime, Duncan has a good heart and, even in the worst of situations tries to do the right thing. It makes it impossible not to like him. A Jolly Good Fellow is a lighthearted and fun holiday story.

Rating: * (Good)

Be sure and check out the author's website. If you would like to follow Stephen V. Masse's tour in progress, visit the Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tours blog.

Thank you to Tracee Gleichner of Pump Up Your Book Promotion and the author Stephen V. Masse for the opportunity to participate in this book tour.

Read what others had to say about this book:
Bobbi's Book Nook (Interview with Author)
The Book Czar
Heidi's Books
Julie's Jewels
Keep This On the DL
Tip of the Iceberg (Interview with Author)


  1. oops, i read this post after the previous one. I like reading in the order they were posted.

    Glad you liked the book, isn't it perfect for the coming holiday season?

  2. The premise of this book reminds me of one of my favorite movies. Savannah Smiles.

    Sounds like a cute book.

  3. This one is on my wish list. It seems like just the right book to put me in a holiday mood.

  4. Sounds like I should be buying this one. Thanks for the review.


  5. Wendy, I loved this book. I'm glad to see you enjoyed it too.

    I agree that it was impossible not to like Duncan!


  6. Sounds like this could be a fun crime caper type story. Thanks for the review!

  7. It does sound like an excellent book...

    And it's good to have you back!


  8. I've seen a few good reviews for this one. It sounds like a really good holiday read.

  9. I like the sound of this one. Thanks for the review, Wendy. I'm putting it into the wishlist. :)

  10. Alice - I think you would like it, Alice. It's a fun little book. :-)

    Dar - It's a fun holiday book that isn't meant to be taken too seriously, I think.

    Carrie K - I enjoyed it overall.

    CJ - Thank you! It has its moments, that's for sure. :-)

    Iliana - I thought it was cute. :-)

    Shana - Duncan was too sweet for his own good. :-)

    Cheryl - If you do read it, I hope you will enjoy it!

    Kathy - It seems well suited for the holidays--although that could be mainly because that's around the time it's set. :-)

    Lynne - It's been ages since I thought of that movie! I really like that one too.

    Violetcrush - I can't seem to make up my mind which I prefer--reading in order or starting from the most recent when I get behind. I tend to jump around as a result, which is probably just all the more confusing. ;-)

  11. I guess I might have to re-read this to figure out what I missed.
    Glad you liked it.

  12. Heidi - I know of someone else who didn't care for this one either, so you are not alone. :-)


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