The Wet Nose Of Danger by James Finn Garner

Wet NoseTop Town, the place where the circus folk live, away from the normal people of the city. And walking the dark streets of Top Town in his over-sized shoes is Rex Koko, Private Investigator. And a clown.

Following his successes in Honk, Honk, My Darling and Double Indignity, Rex has been going up in the world – he’s even managed to wangle a trailer to live in. When he’s hired to find some kidnapped dogs, plus two escapees from a freak show, he’s got his hands full. Admittedly, he was expecting his hands to be full with dog food – he wasn’t expecting transvestite mobsters, elephant seals, a trip to Europe. Oh, and Nazis. Mustn’t forget the Nazis…

The third book in the Rex Koko series and if you enjoyed the first two, then this is more of the same. Garner has created a complex world in Top Town, different from anything you’ll have read before while still following the traditions of noir – namely basically wandering around bumping into people until someone tries to kill him. But while (for that reason) I’m not a fan of noir, this is a highly enjoyable read.

There’s a great line in dialogue and some highly imaginative sequences here – one in particular towards the end, as Rex confronts… probably shouldn’t say, but it gives a clear demonstration of the skewed rules of this rules.

At the end of the day, what this book consists of is a highly entertaining version of a genre that I don’t particularly like. It works for me, but I’d be fascinated to hear what people who actually enjoy noir think about it. I urge you to take a look at the series, and do let me know what you think. Well Worth A Look.


  1. I showed this review to my son. Dogs and humor, I thought he might like it. He agreed that he might, so we may give it a try. I have learned not to turn up my nose at fiction that does not meet my usual guidelines.


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