The One-Minute Mysteries of Inspector Gerard by Tyler James Cook – A Book Review

Full disclosure, Tyler Cook is the proprietor of the website The Portly Politico, a fellow conservative and in my opinion a fine fellow.  He and I have shared many an interesting conversation on-line about a number of different topics, political and non-political.  He’s a multi-talented fellow and a good guy.  So, I wasn’t surprised to find that he has also self-published a book and asked me to review it.  And always on the look out for something good to review, I immediately agreed and he was kind enough to send me a review copy.

“The One-Minute Mysteries of Inspector Gerard” is a short book and is made up of a number of “cases.”  The eponymous Inspector is a Sherlock Holmes-like savant who usually solves the case simultaneous with the initial narration of the crime.  But the final solution always involves logic that is a complete non sequitur to the clues.  That is the joke.

The thing that I noted was that the content of the stories reflect the various ages at which Tyler wrote them.  So, the earliest tales are very, very short and have solutions that defy any conventional logic.  They are what a teenage kid would find funny.  And as the series of stories progresses, they become more complex and the writing adds touches of noir-like characterization and other dramatic effect.

And finally, as the author enters adulthood his writing becomes mature and his story telling powers become developed.  The culmination is a story called, “Inspector Gerard and the Dead-End Job Caper.”  It is a comical piece that dramatizes Gerard’s ennui and determination to abandon crime-solving and take up a life as a fish-monger.  This story has everything.  Dramatic tension, character development, local color and timing.  Well, maybe not, but it is funny.

So here is the verdict.  Tyler Cook is a smart talented writer.  I can see that in the output of his blog.  “The One-Minute Mysteries of Inspector Gerard” is a showcase of his earliest fiction writing output.  It reflects his sense of humor applied to the mystery genre.  It is amusing but very short.  I think the takeaway from this selection is that Tyler is going to write a longer and more commercial work in the future.

Tyler has the story on Amazon and I see it’s on kindle unlimited for free I believe.  Because of its short length and the ironic nature of much of the work I wouldn’t know if many folks would be happy to pay a lot for the collection.  But I encourage readers of the Portly Politico to try it out and then lobby Tyler to spread his wings and write the comic novel that he obviously has in him.

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Neil M. Dunn
Neil M. Dunn
6 months ago

Your book review stimulated me to subscribe to his website which is still below 400. Count will probably go much higher and soon.

Tyler, the Portly Politico
Reply to  photog

Agreed. And OCF readers can start supporting the younger generation with their purchase of my smash debut book, _The One-Minute Mysteries of Inspector Gerard_. : D

Tyler, the Portly Politico
Reply to  Neil M. Dunn

Thank you, Neil! I saw you had subscribed; now I know why! I hope you enjoy my humble blog.

Tyler, the Portly Politico

photog, thank you so much for your generous review. Your check is in the mail.

Haha, but seriously, I really appreciate your support, as well as your thoughtful analysis of “Inspector Gerard and the Dead-End Job Caper.” I wrote that one in college for a creative writing class, and was asked to give a reading of an excerpt from it to an English Department get-together.

_Gerard: A Novel_ might very well be on the horizon thanks to your encouragement.

Tyler, the Portly Politico
Reply to  photog

Three words: June, July, and August.

Tyler, the Portly Politico
Reply to  photog

I will say, I do much better with shorter-form writing. That’s why I like blog posts, essays, and short stories. Keeping track of all of those plot threads in a novel would be difficult to juggle, I think.

Tyler, the Portly Politico
Reply to  photog

You’re right about that. Yesterday I held a physical copy of the book for the first time. One of my colleagues’ copies came in, and I signed it for her. It hit me how small a fifty-seven page book is. Still, it was cool holding my book for the first time. My twenty author copies won’t come in for another couple of weeks, unfortunately, but folks who ordered with Prime are getting theirs, which is great to see.

Neil M. Dunn
Neil M. Dunn
6 months ago

My wife just preordered the book for 4/1/21 delivery-can hardly wait. In the same spirit of logical Gordian Knots, I offer the following:

https://www.futilitycloset.com/2021/03/23/a-confusing-country/

For the solution(should there be a need) click on the small blue “http” at the lower right of the page.

Tyler, the Portly Politico
Reply to  Neil M. Dunn

Thanks for the order, Neil! I hope y’all enjoy the Kindle version. Feel free to leave an Amazon review after y’all read it.

Neil M. Dunn
Neil M. Dunn
6 months ago

The Futility Closet site is an eclectic mix of topics from chess solutions, puzzles, word play, poems, interesting facts, podcasts–in his own words: https://www.futilitycloset.com/about/,  He(Greg Ross) had to close down the site for a couple of months when COVID forced the closure of the library he uses.  Here is a recent post of his regular “In A Word”: https://www.futilitycloset.com/2021/03/22/in-a-word-631/ I have been making a sentence with the words and send it to some friends (along with 4 other items) and title it = “Translating English into English” The sentence: A monomachy caused the repentine labefaction of the royal quadragenarian. Early today the posted link… Read more »