Summary and book reviews of Suburban Dicks by Fabian Nicieza

Suburban Dicks

by Fabian Nicieza

Suburban Dicks by Fabian Nicieza X
Suburban Dicks by Fabian Nicieza
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     Not Yet Rated
  • Published:
    Jun 2021, 400 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Norah Piehl
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About this Book

Book Summary

From the cocreator of Deadpool comes a hilariously entertaining debut featuring two unlikely and unforgettable amateur sleuths. An engrossing and entertaining murder mystery full of skewering social commentary, Suburban Dicks examines the racial tensions exposed in a New Jersey suburb after the murder of a gas station attendant.

Andie Stern thought she'd solved her final homicide. Once a budding FBI profiler, she gave up her career to raise her four (soon to be five) children in West Windsor, New Jersey. But one day, between soccer games, recitals, and trips to the local pool, a very pregnant Andie pulls into a gas station--and stumbles across a murder scene. An attendant has been killed, and the bumbling local cops are in way over their heads. Suddenly, Andie is obsessed with the case, and back on the trail of a killer, this time with kids in tow.

She soon crosses paths with disgraced local journalist Kenneth Lee, who also has everything to prove in solving the case. A string of unusual occurrences--and, eventually, body parts--surface around town, and Andie and Kenneth uncover simmering racial tensions and a decades-old conspiracy. Hilarious, insightful, and a killer whodunit, Suburban Dicks is the one-of-a-kind mystery that readers will not be able to stop talking about.

Chapter One

Satkunananthan Sasmal would have been the first to admit he'd had worse nights working the midnight shift at his Uncle's Valero station. For example, there'd been a night last summer that had started out with such promise. Eight drunken girls, on their way home from clubbing at the beach, had piled out of a stretch limo at 4 A.M. They flirted with him before piling into the station's bathroom and regurgitating their night's activities across all four walls, the floor, and—somehow—the ceiling. For Satku, that had killed the mood.

Then there was the old lady who fell asleep while driving and plowed into the first island. Satkunananthan barely hit the kill switch on pump #3 before diving out of the car's path. The woman rolled down her window and asked him to fill her tank. Regular. Cash.

Then there was that time he had been robbed at gunpoint.

And the other time he had been robbed at knifepoint.

And the other time he had been robbed at spatula-point.

In his ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Kenny and Andrea's tense personal chemistry sets up their odd-couple professional relationship; both are supremely talented, both investigate the mystery using their own skills and methods, and they consistently question one another's motives and means. Most readers—especially if they have small children at home—will probably find themselves on Team Andrea once she starts coming up with more and more creative and outlandish solutions for childcare, including enlisting her children as junior investigators. Suburban Dicks (and the title refers to old-timey slang for detectives, by the way) isn't just slapstick, however—the novel's plot and its characters' commentaries make serious points about the insularity of many so-called exclusive suburbs, and about the ugliness that can surface when a town's demographics begin to change...continued

Full Review Members Only (738 words).

(Reviewed by Norah Piehl).

Media Reviews

Booklist
Nicieza, a comics writer best known as co-creator of the wisecracking antihero Deadpool for Marvel, pivots to his first mystery here but keeps the comic-book energy and zaniness…Scathing and timely social commentary in a comic mystery.

Publishers Weekly (starred review)
[O]utstanding...Nicieza delivers a wildly entertaining blend of high-octane snark and brass-knuckle social commentary, but it's the courageous Andrea and her group of soccer moms, whom she privately dubs the Cellulitists, who steal the show. Mystery fans looking for something different won't want to miss this quirky crime novel.

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Satire is hard to establish and even harder to maintain, but Nicieza flawlessly critiques the pervasiveness of suburban racism, the challenge of stay-at-home motherhood, the toxic culture of White masculinity, and the self-aggrandizing role of the media, and he does it with a pair of completely flawed yet appealing characters and a diverse cast of voices. Delightfully irreverent and so very entertaining.

Author Blurb Lisa Gardner
A brilliant, if not harrowing, send-up of suburban life. From the frazzled soon-to-be mother of five who secretly channels Sherlock Holmes, to an epic battle over swimming pool permits which hides secrets far more dangerous than swimming pools or permits, Suburban Dicks offers a gritty, charming, terrifying, and ultimately wry assessment of just what lurks behind a white picket fence.

Author Blurb Brad Meltzer
A surprising first novel with heart, humor, and an insightful look into the joys and miseries of picket-fence living. Beware. Suburban Dicks will keep you guessing, especially when it comes to this small town's secrets.

Reader Reviews

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Beyond the Book

West Windsor and Plainsboro, New Jersey

Schenck Farmstead in West Windsor As Fabian Nicieza comments in an author's note for Suburban Dicks, "fiction means it is not real." But that said, the two towns he uses as the setting for the novel—West Windsor and Plainsboro—are definitely real places. Let's take a trip to explore these suburban paradises, shall we?

The area where West Windsor and Plainsboro are located is the historical land of the Unami, a subtribe of the Lenape people. Dutch settlers arrived in the 1600s, soon to be followed by English colonists. West Windsor was first established in 1682 when William Penn signed a treaty with the Lenape; it changed names and boundaries many times between then and 1855, when its present-day borders were drawn. Plainsboro was not incorporated until ...

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