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Reviewed by Delene Vrey for Readers' Favorite
Lone Star Lance is the debut novel by David Studebaker. Being a stand-up comedian, David brings tongue-in-cheek humor to a story that would otherwise not work. Lance is a budding young playwright and Yoga instructor in San Francisco. When his wife, Emmy, a police officer, informs him that she is pregnant and moving all of them to Texas so they can be with her parents, Lance has no idea what will hit him. Apart from living with her conservative parents, her older brother also lives with her parents. He has a lovely way of showing Lance he cares by making fun of Lance and trying to teach him how to fish. The story develops through a string of incidents that Lance faces, from applying for a job at the local school and completely alienating the principal to joining a “gun club” that has nothing to do with guns! Lance deals with the stress by doing Yoga and discovering that religion will save him from the “gun club” founder.
Studebaker does a grand job with Lone Star Lance, which I feel deserves the “cozy” label. It is a laid-back telling of a well-thought-out crime perpetrated by eccentric characters worthy of the Lance Ford world. From the juxtaposed and “modern” couple, Lance and Emmy, to the spotlight-eager theatre group and the over-dramatic evil mastermind, every little bit fits together perfectly. Through his humorous story, Studebaker highlights some of the pertinent themes of our times. Greed and the craving for fame are prevalent throughout as well as revenge and people thinking more of themselves than is true. Another interesting theme is the switching of traditional gender roles. Where in the past, the husband was a police officer, now the wife is and the husband is doing Yoga classes and acting.
David Studebaker perfects the art of satirizing today’s issues in an easy listening experience and is also the narrator of this off-kilter mystery. As he is the author and knows his characters best, he brings an honest and authentic portrayal of the characters to the audiobook version. He does the characters justice and delivers perfect comedic timing and impression of each character, so there is no confusion about which character is speaking. From Lance’s laid-back tone to the brutish and often overbearing tone of Emmy’s brother, the characters come to life, and you can sit back and listen to the comical story unfolding around your ears. A series to be on the lookout for.