A Friend Of King Neptune

A Friend Of King Neptune

Francis X. Lenihan is a process server living in St. Louis when he reunites with his best friend, Dingus. Francis and Dingus served in the Army Medical Corps in the 1970s. Dingus served as it was a familial tradition, while Francis served to avoid a lengthy jail sentence. Their service in a relatively war-free area and the wild times they shared have helped forge an unbreakable bond between them. Francis brings Dingus along as he performs the task of giving subpoenas, quite often surreptitiously. Dingus witnesses the anger of more than a few unhappy recipients that Francis must serve, and his attempts to aid Francis only exacerbate the situation.

Francis is quick to forgive Dingus’ lack of tact but is curious to learn why Dingus traveled to the States. Dingus is on a mission from a friend in Germany; he has been asked to locate some artifacts from the Third Reich. Dingus must ingratiate himself with the friend’s estranged brother, but the brother has no intention of giving up said memorabilia. Dingus has a habit of getting himself into trouble and Francis must find a way to lend a helping hand.

Nearly two decades have passed since their military service, and their lives are headed in different directions, but the strength of their friendship pulls them together for a new adventure. Francis is pretty content in his life, happy to earn money while earning the enmity of the wayward souls he must serve. Dingus possesses a flair for the romantic and adventurous, often throwing common sense by the wayside. The pair must contend with thieves, stalkers, a possible rapist, and the occasional corrupt cop. When the two friends work together, they are nearly unstoppable.

A Friend of King Neptune is a fun mystery novel with a healthy heaping of comic undertones that provide a generous portion of the entertainment. The path of the narrative is set early on with the hijinks that ensue when Dingus accompanies Francis on his daily grind. The story doesn’t deviate one iota as the friends briefly separate, with Dingus acting as an amateur sleuth and Francis dodging a disgruntled individual whom he once served. Francis’ loyalty to Dingus is seen early and often in the book as he never ceases to stand up for him. The action is often accompanied by moments of levity and heart. Author Wm. Stage has written a fine book with a quirky pair that will win over the reader almost instantly.