It was only a matter of time before Rob Byrnes appeared on this list.
Allow me to back up a bit. Rob Byrnes is pretty much the reason I got published for the first time. He’s the one who passed along to me the call for submissions to an anthology of essays about gay men and their dogs. That anthology was Paws and Reflect, which both I and Michael were published in.
So, I owe Rob going way back. I’ve been lucky also to be an early reader on a couple of his novels. That was less me returning the favour as me getting a sneak peak before the book landed on shelves. He’s been an exceedingly generous friend ever since. (He’s also bad for my liver, but that’s a different story entirely.)
Rob is also a hilarious writer, so when I saw Borough Press‘s #BookADayUK prompt for today, “Makes me laugh,” there was really only one answer to that question. It is, however, a multipart answer, starting with The Night We Met and continuing through to Strange Bedfellows, his last entry in his Donald Westlake-inspired series of capers featuring Grant Lambert and Chase LaMarca and their ragtag gang of criminals that can’t do anything straight:
If politics makes for strange bedfellows, perhaps no bedfellows are stranger than Grant Lambert and Austin Peebles.
Austin Peebles is a professional politician with a problem: a prominent rightwing blogger has come into possession of a compromising cell phone photo of the congressional candidate… an image that could derail his campaign.
Enter Grant Lambert—a professional criminal who lives so far below society’s radar he’s never even registered to vote—and his partner in life and crime, Chase LaMarca. If Grant and Chase can make the picture disappear, they’ll make a cool $50,000. It sounds like easy money to the cash-strapped criminals, but then more pictures turn up, the double- and triple-crosses begin, and Grant, Chase, and their gang of gay and lesbian confederates find themselves immersed in the brutal sport of politics, as the stakes grow larger and the bedfellows get stranger and stranger… (from Goodreads)
I look forward to many more laughs at Rob’s expense—er, I mean to Rob’s credit—in the future.