I received a copy of "Hauling Ash" through the Juniper Grove Review Library in exchange for an honest review.
Publisher: Post Hill Press
At the behest of his dead uncle's spirit, Otto Waldorf seeks out a hidden fortune, only to end up with a quarter million of the mafia's money. With both the mob and the FBI on his tail, this lonely mortician flees the country with money in tow. Throw in a nervous schnauzer, a moody hit man, and a blonde bombshell for a comedy noir of haunting proportions.
When the spirit of his recently deceased uncle appears in his kitchen, lonely mortician Octavious Waldorf can only guess the ghost isn't there just for the coffee. His miserly uncle reveals the location of a hidden fortune with the promise of more if Otto will spread the dead man's ashes across the Caribbean Sea. Through a simple mistake Otto ends up with almost a million of the mafia's money instead of his uncle's simple few thousand. Otto does what any desperate man would do and flees the country aboard a cruise ship headed to the Bahamas to fulfill his uncle's last request. With the money, his dead uncle's ashes, and a nervous schnauzer in tow, Otto sets out to change his fortune and life. That near million just so happens to belong to crime boss and all around bad guy Tony & Maloney (no relation), who happens to be on the same cruise. Maloney isn't interested in just getting the money back. Along with the help of the much feared hired hit man Mr. Banjo, as well as the blonde bombshell Penny Lane, Maloney plans on squeezing the money as well as a few vital juices from Otto's cold, dead corpse. On the other end of the law, the FBI is hot on Malone's tail. Special Agents Frank Wallace and Larry Lawrence aren't sure who this Otto guy is, or how he fits into Maloney's organization, but they don't plan on letting either of them get away. Maybe it's time for the nearly retired Frank to take a much needed cruise to the Bahamas. It's a comedy noir of hilarious errors as Otto learns that sometimes money does buy happiness.
We start off with Otto Waldorf who's a lonely mortician who finds himself in a nightmare full of coincidences. This chain of events is, naturally, set off by the ghost of his dead Uncle Walter. Unsure why he's still attached to the earth, Uncle Walter sends Otto off on an errand that just ends so badly it's cringeworthy! (In a good way.) Otto is a bit of a push over in his life and agrees to each new idea, slowing gaining some confidence throughout the story, which really made him likeable.
Going from a quiet life to a singles cruise to the Bahamas, Otto faces mobsters, hitmen, beautiful women and the FBI. It was really fun to watch one terrible coincidence after another and how Otto went from dealing with each to rebelling. Suddenly, the push over becomes the pusher!
The story is mostly verbal, the characters bantering, and usually with a humorous outcome. I had several laugh out loud moments with this one.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Author Links: Website | Twitter @ToniaBrown1