‘Rick Cantelli, PI,’ by Bernard Lee Deleo

Rick Cantelli, PI

Have you ever met someone (usually a guy) who thinks he’s a riot? Who not only tells one lame joke after another, but laughs uproariously at himself? And he’s actually a bore?

That was the impression Bernard Lee Deleo’s Rick Cantelli, PI had on me.

Rick Cantelli is a middle-aged former Navy Seal and CIA agent, who runs a private security agency with Lois Madigan, a former Agency colleague. There’s no romance between them – she’s happily married – but she keeps a mother hen-ish eye on his romantic life (enhanced by the legal and illegal surveillance technologies they employ in their work). Their relationship is characterized by back-and-forth verbal abuse, threats, and practical jokes, which they (not necessarily the reader) consider hilarious.

I didn’t make it a third of the way through this book, so I’m not sure what the plot is. It seemed to be a collection of short stories, actually. There’s Rick’s drug addict high school girlfriend, who reappears in his life and attempts to rob and kill him, but that doesn’t stop him from sleeping with her multiple times. And Lois’s movie star sister, with whom Rick also sleeps, to Lois’s fury. And a female client who owns a fitness center, who’s a couple decades younger than Rick and also who does her best to get him to sleep with her.

You get the pattern here. Between Rick’s improbable irresistibility (which, to be fair, is puzzling to him too) and the unrelenting “humorous” backchat between the two detectives, I couldn’t handle any more.

Fortunately the Kindle version was cheap.

Not recommended. Your mileage may vary.

Get it? “Your mileage may vary!” Like gas in a car! I kill myself sometimes!

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