The Adventures of Milo & Alex

Can never remember: Is Milo the dog or the cat?

Was up a bit too late last night hastening breathlessly to the slam-bang climactic scenes of Evidence, the newest Milo ‘n’ Alex mystery.

That phrase “up a bit too late” should be all the clue you need to whether this latest offering from author Jonathan Kellerman does the job: Sure it does! You can count on Mr. Kellerman. His gift for dialogue has not deserted him. He drives you around to great L.A. locations (though the closest we get to the stock photo beach on the cover is when Alex and his girlfriend eat tacos at a stand on the Pacific Coast Highway). Milo jokes. Alex analyzes. It’s all there.

Kellerman’s reliability is why I bought my copy of Evidence electronically on the first day of publication. Why wait?

Why? Well here’s one reason to wait: When it comes time to share the reading experience with my demanding NiceWork readers, a graphic is required: the cover shot. Sometimes electronic versions include a cover shot, sometimes not. This time, there was only cold, cold print. No pic. Luckily for me (and you), while shopping for sundries at Ralph’s Fine Foods in Calabasas (Calabasas means “pumpkin”) I saw a display of bestsellers, among which glowed Evidence with its freeway-sign sized letters embossed and well-lacquered. I manfully resisted the powerful temptation to buy the print version despite already owning the digital one, so enticing it looked — and isn’t there a lovely low-down zing to buying books at a grocery store? Like a spy in the house of Ralph, I used my phone camera to snatch the all-important cover shot, having propped the gleaming hardcover amidst its poor cousins on the paperback rack to take advantage of the brighter light. There you go, demanding NiceWork readers. ☝ Take a gander. ☝

But what of “natural potato chips,” I ask you? Below is another telephone photo taken during the same trip to Ralph’s Fine Foods in Calabasas (Calabasas means “pumpkin”) which yielded the cover shot above. The messages on the bags promise potato chips within — and I have no reason to doubt the sincerity of that promise — but what is all this hoo-haw about the potato chips being “totally natural”? Tell me: Have you ever found a potato in chip form in the wild? No. Feral potatoes are invariably roundish lumps. It is man’s industry that renders them into chips. The “natural chip” is a pipedream. A chimera. A fantasy of the sort pursued so disastrously by the enviro-nuts in Kellerman’s new Milo ‘n’ Alex mystery, Evidence.

I'll bet they are not made in a canyon really.

Evidence
An Alex Delaware Novel
by Jonathan Kellerman
(Ballantine Books, Hardcover, 368pp.)
Publication Date: October 6, 2009

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