Tony Kozol and Rock Bottom (an engagingly laid-back sleuthing duo—Booklist) are back in their fifth hair-pulling, teeth-gnashing, nail-biting, name-calling (and that’s only what the author went through to write it) adventure. Hired by folk singer Nanci Dement to appear with her at a Kewpie doll convention in Branson, Missouri, the boys are expecting nothing but fun and relaxation. What they get is murder, and lots of it. Not to mention, Jim Stafford, who finds himself with his own set of troubles—he’s been accused of stealing a valuable Kewpie. Worse still, he’s been accused of murder!
While Tony and Rock try to sort through the tangle of their lives and help out their new friend, Jim, who thinks they are detectives (and Heaven knows they’re not!) Nanci is ready to kill them. After all, she’s hired them to play the guitar and bass and they’re spending all their time playing sleuths!
Will Jim spend the remainder of his days singing Cow Patti in jail? Will Nanci Dement stalk down and rub out Tony and Rock with her mandolin? Hold on to your Kewpie doll and read on!
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"Taken separately, the elements that make up this seventh Tony Kozol novel might sound downright goofy. Country musician Kozol and his pal Rock Bottom are hired to play at "Kewpiecon," a Kewpie doll convention in Branson, Missouri. While there, they befriend--and defend--real-life country singer Jim Stafford, who stands accused of murdering rapper B.A.D. Spike. Spike, who was opening a controversial theater in Branson, has plenty of enemies--but Stafford is found standing over the body. When Kewpie merchandise is stolen and a conventioneer is murdered, new suspects emerge. From descriptions of the bizarre antics of the Kewpie conventioneers to the quirky characterization of Stafford (who older country fans will remember for his hit "Spiders and Snakes"), Ripley spins a truly funny yarn that will have readers laughing out loud. An offbeat hit that will appeal especially to country music fans."
"JR. Ripley's Bum Rap In Branson is an exciting mystery novel featuring Tony Kozol and Rock Bottom, who is drawn into a bizarre recurrence of Kewpie dolls and murders, their interconnection unknown. The latest entry in a genuinely thrilling series, Bum Rap In Branson complicates Tony's desire to just get by, have fun, and earn a few bucks playing the guitar by saddling him with a murder accusation - he has to clear his name fast to avoid singing in jail! A viciously delightful read for mystery/suspense enthusiasts!"
- Midwest Book Review