Hellzapoppin! (‘Oy, Rodney’)

a gripping page-turner headed for the top of the NY Times bestseller list | Romance novels, Funny romance, Book parody

“The hibernating rhinoceros awoke with vengeance in its heart.”

No author can do very wrong by opening a chapter, a story, or a novel with a sentence like that above, penned by Violet Crepuscular, The Queen of Suspense. She then wades into a lengthy introduction of Chapter DCXLIX of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney. (I must add that if Silas Marner had featured some sentences like that, I wouldn’t have been so averse to it in high school. A hibernating rhino would be a definite improvement.)

As it happens, Scurveyshire’s hibernating rhinoceros has indeed awakened, and torn its cocoon to shreds, and embarks on a rampage that detracts from Constable Chumley’s  investigation of a ritualistic poking ring that convenes in the back room of The Lying Tart. Alarmed by this sudden rush of events, Lord Jeremy Coldsore appoints Johnno the Merry Minstrel acting constable pro tem. They had to catch him first.

“I want that rampaging beast dealt with and that ritualized poking stopped!” says Lord Jeremy. “If you think you’re not up to the job… well, pretend! No one will know you’re only pretending to enforce the law.”

Johnno is not sure there is a law against ritual poking.

As for the rhinoceros, an ear-splitting bellow from behind the barn suggests a clear and present danger…

And she stops there??? That’s not “suspense”! That’s just shilly-shallying! I’m not even sure a rhino can bellow. Has she ever heard one?