(Reviewed by JD Jung)
Saving Melbourne from zombies, vampire-ish creatures and other “immortals”—for a fee, of course- “Scherer and Miller, Investigators of the Paranormal and Supermundane” found their niche.
But how do you tell them all apart? After all, the “young” but sophisticated Mocha Stockholm who was named after the Scandinavian city (or was it the other way around?) solicited their services.
But let us backtrack. Sixteen year old Roy Scherer tried to take down a comic book store and was caught. His dad’s friend, Art Miller, had some connections and was able to keep him out of jail. However, the payback was that Roy had to work for the alcoholic Miller at his P.I. firm for free. Artie sure took advantage of that, but on the other hand, Roy was introduced into the world of private investigation and eventually they became partners. Artie wouldn’t live forever, so to Roy’s chagrin, years later he was forced to partner with Miller’s daughter, Suzie.
Small Change takes us through a whirlwind of quirky, but dangerous cases. Roy and Suzie, somewhat of an “Odd Couple” have a strange dynamic, though their annoyance with each other doesn’t seem to get in the way of solving cases. Roy’s sarcasm throughout the book adds to the entertainment.
Make sure that you read the “Acknowledgements” at the end of the book, which will explain why author Andrez Bergen chose “Small Change” a song by Tom Waits as the title, and why this book is dedicated to Rock Hudson and Susan Saint James. While there are many American, British and Australian cultural references in the book, you can tell that Bergen was brought up with TV shows like “Twilight Zone”, “Outer Limits” and of course comic books.
My only complaint of Small Change is that the story isn’t long enough. I wanted to read more about these quirky characters in Bergen’s wry style of humor. I hope that this is just an introduction into the world of Scherer and Miller and that there will be a lot more to come.