Saturday, June 25, 2011

“Mr. Softee” by Mike Faricy

 Mr Softee-final

“Trust me, the good-guy shit don’t work.” Tony ‘Dog’ Colli

If Carl Hiaasen decided to write a novel set in Minnesota he’d use the pseudonym Mike Faricy. Mr. Softee is filled with mystery, menace,satire and comic-book kink  as skirt chasing, wise cracking, dysfunctional PI Dev Haskell gets himself in over his head.

Hired by local ice cream mogul, Weldon Sofmann aka Mr. Softee, to find out who tried to kill him by ramming his Mercedes.  The job should be as simple as a scoop of vanilla but what starts out as a hit and run, quickly turns into healthy serving of  bizarre Rocky Road. As Dev investigates he learns that Mr. Softee is anything but. He's a ruthless 'entrepreneur'  suspected of running a gambling operation from his fleet of trucks. He has a flash temper, a couple of man eating Dobermans, a mean streak a mile wide, a laundry list of people who want to do him in and a sex crazed girlfriend named Lola. Not to mention a crew of thugs you wouldn’t want serving an ice cream sandwich to your kid. Unless said kid was trying to get a bet down.

Dev uncovers a list of suspects that include the competition, a two ice cream truck operation run by the beautiful daughter of a man screwed over by Mr. Softee; at least their trucks don’t play annoying music that would drive a crazed father to justifiable homicide. There’s a disgruntled employees, Bernie Sneen, who was maimed for ‘dipping’ into the profits. Bernie hangs out in a bar called Dizzies. You could say Dizzies was a bit low on ambience, but  that would suggest there might be some. Then there is his girl friend, Lola who may look like desert, but has a heart colder than a popsicle.

Dev quickly comes to the conclusion that it was probably an accident and reports this to Mr. Softee. But when Dev tries to invoice Mr. Softee he is assaulted and winds up arrested. Then the competition has their building blown up and their trucks torched and Bernie is found dead, taped to the rail road tracks and Dev is a suspect. Things go from bad to worse until Dev enlists the help of former client, sometime friend and felon, Tony "Dog" Colli. Murder, mayhem, double cross and bodies follow in their wake.

Mr. Softee is a bit darker and more dangerous than usual and Dev finds himself in over his head and on the wrong side of the law and wanted for a brutal murder. It’s a fast paced tale of bottom feeders, criminals, short skirts, and Dev stumbling into the deep end of a case with more twists than Baskin Robbins has favors. Not able to call on his usual list of allies; His policeman friend, Aaron, his army of official’s with access to records and computers, or his various list of former love interests and  bartenders,  he turns to Tony ‘Dog’ Colli who is going to be a great character. Dog is a match for the most evil, bizarre bad guy but even he may not be able to bail Dev out. This is another great read from Mike Faricy but I have to wonder about this author as he tells me he draws his stories and characters from people he knows in real life…his real life must have more nuts than a banana split.

The book is available in eBook form from Amazon, Smashwords, and for the first time, Mike’s books will be available for “Print on Demand” from Amazon by the end of August.

The Dirty Lowdown

Copyright © 2011 Robert Carraher All Rights Reserved


  1. Great review, Rob. Eloquent and witty as usual. Who would have guessed that strolling round the tree-lined avenues of St. Paul that all that mayhem was going on behind closed doors? Using an ice cream operation as a touchstone is a stroke of genius and a very unusual angle on crime. Excellent stuff.

  2. Thanks Sean. The book was very enjoyable, as usual from Mike. When am I going to get to review your next offering?