Buh-leeve me, Tisket

A Tisket, A Tasket, A Fancy Stolen Casket - Fran Rizer

This nice and slightly funny mystery didn’t make a lasting impression on me but it was a nice, diverting read. The protagonist Callie works in a morgue as a beautician: she applies cosmetics to corpses to make them look pretty. The humor and originality inherent in such a profession (does it really exist?) permeate the story and make the banal murder investigation more interesting than it would’ve been otherwise.

Callie doesn’t actually investigate. She just stumbles onto clues and always appears in the wrong place at the wrong time. She also makes some dumb decisions concerning her private life, which inevitably lead to crazy escapades and dangerous situations. And why not? It’s a southern spoof of a cozy mystery, isn’t it?

A collection of whacky secondary characters revolves around Callie, contributing to the zany feel of the novel. Nothing is serious there. Even the villain seems to be a kook. Anyone would see through his stupidity, but for some reason, Callie doesn’t.

I enjoyed reading this ‘yes-nonsense’ book except for one spelling idiosyncrasy. The story is told from Callie’s point of view, and whenever she uses the words ‘please’, ‘believe me’, or ‘excuse me’ in her thoughts (not in speech), they are always spelled phonetically, like “buh-leeve me” or “ex-cuuze me.” After the second or third occasion, it started to irritate.

 

And I wondered about the book’s title. What is a Tisket? And what is a Tasket? I know what a Casket is though.