"The Continuing Case of Manny Tippitoes" Book Review
Written by Bruce Adams
Illustrated by Anna Wieszczyk
2011, 148 Pages, Fiction
Released on September 19th, 2011
There's not a lot of attention put towards socks in modern fiction. They're an essential part of just about everyone's wardrobe, but they're usually pretty bland and barely mentioned. If only we had the colorful and famous Tippitoes socks to warm our feet. Author Bruce Adams has set out to change your view on socks and entertain with the fantasy / noir / all ages The Continuing Case of Manny Tippitoes.
Although it's set in present day, Manny Tippitoes has all the makings of a gritty dime store pulp novel. It's presented in a very light way, though. The story delves into the history of the title character who's the main suspect in a series of strange breaking and entering crimes that have been occurring for decades. Tippitoes always chooses houses with a single child, talking to the little boy or girl before hand. Then, the contents of the sock drawers are cleaned out, replaced with only the best Tippitoes socks. This happens even though most of the people affected have top-of-the-line security systems that didn't pick up a single thing.
Each victim of the sock-swapping ends up with a slightly better attitude about things despite the fact that their home was invaded. Detective Morris has been handed this age-old case to show the rich folk that someone is looking into it. His niece Marcella appears to have some sort of link with Tippitoes, but most children do.
The Tippitoes story goes back over a hundred years in the novel as Morris goes through the case file. There are excerpts about this guy fighting Nazis and other criminals as well as appearing in plays and even as a soda spokesperson. No one knows who Tippitoes really is but they're all fascinated by him.
The book itself isn't all that scary, but it does have an interesting mystery running throughout. To match this are a series of illustrations by Anna Wieszczyk. I recently saw her art in Archaia's Lucid, but I think she's upped her game for the pictures included in Tippitoes. There are fourteen images total, scattered throughout the book. They fit the tone of Adams' work very well with a light, airy feel, but the colors bring it home to an earthy pulp era.
Tippitoes was self published and unfortunately it fell victim to the same troubles that most indie books run into. There are numerous times throughout the book where a sentence just doesn't make any sense. By this I mean that the wrong word is used, often something that a program like Microsoft Word wouldn't catch. For example, using "he" when you mean "him." I cannot stress enough the importance of a good copy editor or at the very least an honest friend who would take the time to proof read your work.
The Continuing Case of Manny Tippitoes is a fun all-ages title with roots in fantasy and noir. The world that Bruce Adams has created is a light-hearted one where the worst thing that can happen is that your socks get stolen.