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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Hooperman By John M. Daniel

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Sandra Murphy

Check out details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of this review.

Hooperman is not his real name. It comes from a schoolyard taunt since Superman was too hard for a little boy to pronounce. Now he’s got a stammer that won’t quit–unless he’s quoting poetry.

Hooperman has always hung out on the fringes and he likes it there. After a stint as a pizza baker, he decides to try for a job in the bookstore across the street; it seemed like a good idea at the time. Since he can’t really talk to customers or answer the phone, he’s hired to do what he does best–hang out in the store and roam the aisles, but this time not only for pleasure but to find shoplifters.

The store is suffering significant losses and the boss decides it could be an inside job. Employees consider it a perk to take new books home to read and return. There are an awful lot of books sent to the Return Center, some before they hardly hit the shelf. All in all, it’s a weird set up.

Image source: Oak Tree

A firebomb through the window is added cause for alarm. Hooperman’s relationship–if that’s what you can call it, he’s not sure himself–with fellow employee, Lucinda, is complicated by the appearance of a renowned poet, Jane Gillis, for a reading at the store. No one knows it, but Jane is Hooperman’s ex-wife.

Hooperman is interesting enough to carry the book, but adding in the side characters of Lucinda, Martin West who’s in charge of the stockroom, Elmer the liberal bookstore owner and assorted employees, customers and a liberal police officer fills the book with quirks, character and fun. I hope there’s a Hooperman sequel planned.

Daniel’s other mysteries include: Play Melancholy Baby, The Poet’s Funeral, and Vanity Fire, Behind the Redwood Door. He’s also written cat books, short story collections, non-fiction and e-books.

To enter to win a copy of Hooperman, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Hooperman”, or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen January 4, 2014. U.S. residents only.

Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the arch, in the land of blues, booze and shoes—St Louis, Missouri. While writing magazine articles to support her mystery book habit, she secretly polishes two mystery books of her own, hoping, someday, they will see the light of Barnes and Noble. You can also find several of Sandra's short stories on UnTreed Reads including Bananas Foster.


  1. Many thanks to Sandra and Lorie for posting this wonderful, generous review! I'm delighted that you enjoyed HOOPERMAN, and I appreciate your kind support!

  2. Thanks!
    We have a winner
    Lorie Ham, KRL Publisher