Doing Max Vinyl tells the story of three women setting out
to make this the worst week of Max’s life. They wouldn’t dream of doing the
things they do if he didn’t provoke them. Sometimes Max Vinyl just can’t help
environmentalist secretary, Tris Berrymore, also happens to be his lover. She
joined the company and fell in love with Max because he heads his own computer
recycling company. A recycling king, she thought. Until the day she discovers a
large part of the computer junk coming in actually goes out on barges in the
middle of the night, only to be dumped ten miles offshore in Lake Michigan.
enough to make a girl lose her appetite. A confirmed vegetarian, Tris eats
meals that consist of alfalfa sprouts, tomatoes and yogurt. In response to
Max’s dumping, Tris dumps Max, breaking his heart. When he arrives at her door
with ten dozen roses and brimming with boyish confidence, Tris attacks him with
pepper spray through the crack in the door.
his part, will eat steak or fish or pizza, whatever’s served, as long as it’s
tasty. He never drinks more than one glass of wine, because he loves being in
his taste buds, Max is a slave to his olfactoral sense. When Tris sends him a
padded envelope containing a few pairs of his briefs, from which she has
snipped out strategic sections, Max breathes in the lingering aroma of her
perfume, Passion by Chanel.
Max’s ex-wife, Ginger, knows very well how to lead him by the nose. When he
comes calling at Ginger’s one night, smarting from the breakup with Tris and
covered with scratches from the roses, Ginger puts on the old orangey perfume
that always drove Max crazy back in the day. Sure enough, after a simple dinner
of pasta with olive oil and garlic, with a glass of white wine that tastes
vinegary to him, Max finds himself back in Ginger’s bed. How low can you go? he thinks miserably the next morning.
problem is that Max never pays his alimony on time, and she’ll do just about
anything to teach him to behave. She starts by arriving unannounced at his
office with a gooey chocolate cake. In the end, Ginger uses her wiles to force
Max to open the safe and fork out the cash he owes her. She’s not even
surprised to learn that Max used her measurements for the combination. “Those
use to be my measurements, Max. They’re not anymore.”
has a different reason for wanting to do
Max Vinyl. A bacon-cheeseburger sort of woman, Annie is just back from four
years of active service in Iraq. Annie’s anger lurks close to the surface
anyway, so when two of Max Vinyl’s employees threaten her sister, Annie decides
it’s time to kick some corporate butt.
three women never meet, and don’t join forces directly, but their combined
efforts create a mighty unpleasant series of events for Max. Along the way,
there are lots of laughs at the antics of many colorful minor characters. I
hope this account has managed to whet your appetite. Want to know if he escapes
with his life? I guess there’s only one way to find out ...
Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Fred!
Frederick Lee Brooke is the author of the widely-acclaimed
Annie Ogden mystery series, which includes Doing
Max Vinyl, Zombie Candy, and Collateral
Damage. A consummate jetsetter, he was born and raised in Chicago and has lived
in Massachusetts, Montana, France, and Germany. He has called Switzerland his
home for the past two decades, and travels widely throughout Europe (at latest
count, he has visited Italy over 50 times!).
Brooke’s love of the written and spoken word is vast—not
only has he taught English in various European schools, he also knows French,
German, and Italian, and dabbles in Turkish in his spare time. This love of
language led him to quit his day job two years ago and focus on his original
dream: writing fiction. When not writing books, his three kids (and their
homework) keep him busy. He is currently working on a new series of thrillers
and, once that’s done, he might take some time to visit one of those Swiss
chocolate factories (but only for the free samples). He can often be found chopping
vegetables in the kitchen, and makes a mean lasagna.
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