Chutes and Ladder: A Silicon Valley Mystery
by Marc Jedel
Dead friend. Free fall. Girl Scouts. Can Uncle Marty untangle the mystery before things really get out of control?
Juggling a budding relationship, demanding job, and mischievous nieces, Marty Golden struggled to keep his head above water — even before his friend’s death. Trying his best to be a good boyfriend and fun uncle, Marty had his own ideas for the weekend until his cunning sister tricked him again.
Convinced his friend’s death was no accident, Marty tries to summon superhero powers but merely manages to bumble along as an amateur sleuth. When Marty’s cousin shows up, she wreaks havoc with his plans and pulls him into yet another mystery.
As threats blossom, Marty doubles down now that his family’s involved. Besides, it’s poor manners to let your friend’s death go unsolved. Can Marty figure out what happened before a killer, or his imagination, gets to him?
Chutes and Ladder is the second novel in a refreshingly modern mystery series set in Silicon Valley. If you like clever humor and wacky side characters, you’ll love this twisty mystery.
If you ever watched Get Smart, you will remember the bumbling hero Maxwell Smart. Well, meet Marty Golden. He is a nerd who works at a tech startup called “Rover” which provides driverless cars similar to a taxi or uber business. Marty has an imagination that does not quit and his daydreams are hilarious. The fact that he also thinks he is a partner to Mace, a Sergeant with the police is even funnier.
Marty Golden, is roped into chaperoning for his niece’s girl scout camping trip. Marty is not a camper and would much rather spend his time in an office than to have anything to do with the outdoors. The scout leaders and other mothers aren’t pleased that he is there, and he has been given the task to find wood for the fire. While he is out gathering wood, he decides to answer the call of nature, and steps off the path for some privacy. Before he does his business, he glances across the clearing and notices a body on the ground. When he realizes he knows the man, he is determined to bring him justice. Marty immediately gets on the nerves of the detectives who are investigating the situation. He assumes that he will be working with them – as in privy to all the details. He begins his own investigation and often ends up on the wrong end of the stick. He manages to bumble around in his quest to solve the “crime” as a wannabe detective.
The book is fast paced and full of humor. The author keeps us guessing as to what has really transpired, and it’s not until the very end that the details are revealed. With more than one victim, Marty has his hands full. We learn more about Marty and his life, with his family getting involved (his cousin) and his girlfriend becoming more involved in his life. Watch for the interference of his sister’s dog as well, it is hilarious. There are several twists and turns as the story progresses keeping me guessing, and of course all my ideas were wrong. I enjoyed Raj once again in this story. He is Marty’s straight man, all comedians need one. This is the second book in the series by Marc Jedel, and I enjoyed it more than the first one. I knew what to expect from Marty and went into this book expecting the slapstick type antics. I had a great time reading this one, and will be watching the next in the series. If you enjoy mysteries, but need an enjoyable light-hearted read, I would definitely recommend you pick this book up. I was provided a copy of this book from the author upon my request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.
About the Author
For most of my life, I’ve been inventing stories. Some, especially when I was young, involved my sister as the villain. As my sister’s brother for her entire life, I’m highly qualified to tell the tale of this evolving, quirky sibling relationship.
My writing skills were honed in years of marketing leadership positions in Silicon Valley. While my high tech marketing roles involved crafting plenty of fiction, we called these marketing collateral, emails and ads.
The publication of my first novel, Uncle and Ants, gave me permission to claim “author” as my job. This leads to way more interesting discussions than answering “marketing.”
My family would tell you that Marty’s character isn’t much of a stretch of the imagination for me, but I proudly resemble that remark.
Like Marty, I live in Silicon Valley and can’t believe that otherwise normal people would willingly jump out of an airplane and call it fun. Unlike Marty, I have a wonderful wife and a neurotic but sweet, small dog, who is often the first to weigh in on the humor in my writing.
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Purchase Link: Amazon