REVIEW: The Rag, the Wire and the Big Store: A Leroy and Kate Love Story by Duane Lindsay
Robin Hood? Not these two. Meet Leroy Logan, a young man who’s going to be the best con artist ever and Katherine “Fast Kate” Mulrooney, a young woman with even bigger dreams of her own. Together and apart, for sixty years of living large, Kate and Leroy will embezzle anything, con anyone and love each other without reservation.
In a twelve brilliant, funny, romantic short novellas, follow the (mis)adventures of the most exciting anti-heroes you’ve ever met.
From selling a US battleship, scamming fake Faberge eggs, funding a retirement for the widow of the only FBI agent who ever caught them, to conning Elvis and the Colonel, running an Atlantic cruise con, inventing computer scams (well, somebody had to) and growing old in style, Leroy and Kate are forever.
Dear Mr. Lindsay,
Usually I am resistant to stories about con artists, thieves and flim-flam men. I’m just law abiding enough to be a little uptight about the main characters being the heroes. But perhaps revising my viewpoint to them being the anti-heroes of the blurb …? That might work. In fact it does as I had a blast with the first installments of Kate and Leroy’s adventures – or some of them – and am looking forward to more to come. Yeah and cover love!
Yet there are other reasons why this book might hit someone’s “Do Not Read” button and set off klaxon warnings. Kate and Leroy aren’t married and for reasons explained later won’t be getting married yet live together – off and on – for years. Leroy, he loves the horses and gambling and smoking and drinks like a fish. But since everyone lived in a hazy fog of cigarette smoke for all of the years of this first half of their story, and the last novella takes place during the drug and hippie years of the late 60s, who’s worried?
Why should people read it – especially DA readers who want a happy ever after or at least a happy for now? Because Kate and Leroy truly love each other. They don’t always understand each other and can do things which hurt each other – Leroy in particular – but the pain they go through apart sort of proves the point. They are meant for each other even if they sometimes need to be apart.
And the cons they pull – oh, they are things of elegance. Wheels within wheels and a well oiled machine of long cons that are beautiful to watch unfold. One does have a tragic ending and Leroy learns a lesson he’ll probably never forget. But the dinosaur gig is a thing of awe and wonder. Even the FBI guy thought so.
The writing is sharp and funny as well. I lost count of how many times I grinned and giggled but one line in particular – about the awful rock band featured in the last con – which describes the look on the lead singer’s face had me howling with laughter for a good five minutes. I was wiping away tears.
The Family Band finishes one song and begins the next after a lot of tuning and noodling around on their instruments. To Brett, so far, it’s the least offensive sound he’s heard. The drummer clicks his sticks, one-two-three-four, and everybody hits the same chord really loud and Shaun, grimacing like he’s got genital warts, starts screeching notes on his white electric guitar.
I had barely mopped my eyes and started reading again when Leroy gets his (very public) revenge and I started all over again. OMG Lawrence Welk! Bet that’s one time when he didn’t say “Wunnerful, wunnerful.”
So maybe I’m coming around to liking books with con artists. I certainly can’t wait to find out what these two will be up to next. A-