At the time I read my first Mickey Spillane novel, they had already gone out of fashion.  It didn't take long for me to move on to Mac Bolan and Magnum P.I..  And truthfully, I was never much into mystery novels.  But I thoroughly enjoyed "detective" novels.  Detective novels are less about the mystery and the endgame and more about the journey to the answer.  It's been many years since I read a detective novel, and I always wondered what would happen if someone ever managed to revive the genre.  An argument could be made that they never went anywhere.  And that is true, they never went anywhere.  I wanted to see a detective story for the age, a 21st century story where things such as the internet and cellular phones were more than simple affectations or props.  If you like detective stories, and even if you don't then it's time to set your egg timer and strap in, because "On the Head of a PIN" by J. Nelson Leith is a hardboiled detective fable.   

       While none of the props I mentioned previously are used to any noticeable degree, this is definitely a stylish reinvention of the genre.  While maintaining the integrity and the trappings of a classic detective story, Leith manages to inject some very subtle, witty, and original situations.  The characters were engaging, and multifaceted (despite some of them having very specific purposes). situations and characters.  There is a supernatural element to the whole story which adds to, not only the mystery, but also the texture.  One of the things that one might notice while reading this, in terms of departure from classic detective stories, is there are plenty of laughs to be had.  When one thinks of Spillane, or Hammett, one doesn't think of humor.  Certainly those authors had a dark humor to their work, but only in the tough guy, wise ass sense.  Leith adds humor in subtle layers, that doesn't detract in the least from the story. 
         Knowing what is funny and applying it are two different skill sets, and when you add the complexity of character, story, and genre it one would be hard pressed to classify this novel as anything but expertly written.  I found myself re-reading the book a few times, and each time found something new and interesting.  At times there were humorous elements layered within each other, one need only pay attention to see.  The story is literal and figurative and the entire story is spent weaving in and out of both.  At times it was impossible to discern which was which making for an intense sort of moebius strip of mystery, and sex.  If you are a lover of detective or supernatural fiction this is a definitely read.  Even if you are neither you won't be disappointed.  This story has something for everyone.  If you are looking for a detailed description of the story, forget it.  I'm not ruining this one for anyone.  The book will be available for Nook and Kindle starting July 4th.  For more information about J. Nelson Leith check out his author page at , and check out his their facebook page for updates here.

About the author
J. Austin Yoshino
Author: J. Austin Yoshino
That's what I do; I read and I know things.
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