Reviewed by Kristin
Sparked by the question “Which authors are laugh-out-loud funny like Janet Evanovich?” I started making a list of light, funny authors who are more fun than a barrel of monkeys. (Who ever had fun with a barrel of monkeys? Seems like they would be screeching and biting and it would be just too darn crowded in a barrel. PETA would be there….oh never mind, I digress.) Toni McGee Causey immediately appeared on several lists of recommendations for authors similar to Evanovich. Wanting to know exactly what I might be recommending to patrons, I checked out the first book featuring Bobbie Faye Sumrall, and prepared to be amused.
Bobbie Faye’s world is one in which Bobbie Faye herself is the perfect storm, just a small town girl with a predilection for disaster. The title page contains a map of the Louisiana State Insurance Archive of Bobbie Faye Sumrall Disasters. With locations labelled “Fire at High School (Science Lab)” and “Drawbridge Jammed for Nine Weeks” and “Destruction of Governer’s Motorcade (No Fatalities)”, Bobbie Faye is known far and wide for her extremely bad luck and the chaos that follows her. The hyperbole is a little over the top, but still funny. Southern Louisiana is rich with pirate lore, and Bobbie Faye is the crowned Contraband Days Festival queen, as were her mother, grandmother, and many more grandmothers before her.
Bobbie Faye is also rather fascinating to the opposite sex. Ex-boyfriend Cameron Moreau, who also happens to be a state police detective, bemoans the trouble Bobbie Faye encounters, and looks out for her even through the major disaster that this very, very, very, very bad day is turning out to be. As Bobbie Faye enlists the help of a not-so-innocent bystander, Trevor Cormier, sparks fly.
Bobbie Faye’s day begins with water flooding her trailer. Her brother Roy was supposed to fix the washing machine, but he was a little too busy hiding out from his married girlfriend’s husband. Bobbie Faye is desperate to turn off the water, bail out her trailer, and be ready for the social worker home visit later that day, so that she can continue having custody of her five-year-old niece Stacey. Could it be that straightforward to take care of this last little problem? Of course not. Roy is in even more trouble than Bobbie Faye, with a gun pointed at his head and the bad guys wanting something that only Bobbie Faye can provide.
Adult language alert: On page two, niece Stacey solemnly tells Bobbie Faye “Mamma says you shouldn’t cuss so much.” Well, Bobbie Faye doesn’t listen to Stacey or Mamma, although she does try to tone it down in front of the kid. If you like this first outing, Bobbie Fay’s outrageous adventures continue with Bobbie Faye’s (kinda, sorta, not-exactly) Family Jewels, Charmed and Dangerous, Girls Just Wanna Have Guns, When a Man Loves a Weapon, Bobbie Fay’s Hot Mess of a Wedding (novella) and Failure to Communicate (short story).
Just one more thought: Bobbie Faye and a barrel of monkeys? Now that would be trouble.
Want a few other recommendations for laugh-out-loud funny books? Try Sarah Strohmeyer, Sophie Littlefield, Jennifer Crusie, Meg Cabot, Mary Kay Andrews, Michael Lee West, Fannie Flagg, Charlotte Hughes, Gemma Halliday, Sophie Kinsella and Anne George. You may find more details on these authors on a Bristol Public Library bibliography, located at the reference desk, coming soon.