Hold ‘em Close is the second novella in a series called The Cold Hard Cases of Duke Denim by Virginia author Guy Sims and it’s an enjoyable short read that will have you interested and laughing from the first page. The action starts immediately as we follow Big City Police onto a murder scene and catch our first glimpse of Big City dysfunction. Our protagonist is Private Investigator Duke Denim, who is hired by a wealthy businessman to find his socialite wife Testy, who has disappeared from a charity event. Like many private investigators, Denim served as a police officer in the past. His exit is shady but readers might assume his tendency to solve issues with his fists play a part in the new career. Denim’s physical abilities serve him well as he navigates Big City to solve cases overlooked by others.
The story is peppered with flavorful characters throughout. There’s Pompy, a self-absorbed bully who’s as dumb as a box of hammers but capable of murder; lovesick Luscious who adores him. Officers Bussem and Asphalt have nothing but hard feeling for Denim and use methods as questionable as those of our hero.
Sims’ writing is witty and full of humor, and a study guide is available to adapt this book for use by trainers and teachers in the classroom or group. Dr. Sims is also the author of Living Just A Little, and the Brotherman comic series and you can learn more about his books here. Follow him on Twitter @.