It's off-season in Aspen, Colorado, and former TV writer turner private eye Jake Wheeler is hired to find bimbette-in-training Tinker Mellon. Using what little he's learned from The Rockford Files and other TV detective shows, Jake's search for the cheerleader-turned-runaway uncovers a complex crime ring that lies deep within the old mine shafts of Aspen mountain.
So begins Aspen Pulp, a slalom ride of mystery for Jake and his crew of misfits and burnouts which include Hermy, the booze-swilling Swiss ski instructor, Ernie, the yokel deputy of the Aspen PD, and Winston, a loyal malamute the size of a snowmobile.
Filled with hilarious digs at its ostentatious home, Aspen Pulp is Patrick Hasburgh's page-turning debut.
Some lively writing and a hard, crisp look at life in Aspen, Colo.'s legendary ski mecca, overcome a familiar plot in TV producer Hasburgh's first mystery. Zingers are planted like slalom poles on every page (e.g., "The poor man was obviously suffering from acquired situational narcissism, an affliction one catches from always thinking he is the most important person in the room. There is no known cure, but the Alec Baldwin Foundation is raising research funds"), and more than half are worth reading out loud. And even though the story former Aspen resident Jake Holmes goes off to Los Angeles, makes millions writing for TV shows like The Rockford Files, spends all of it on booze and drugs, slinks home where the only work he can find is as a private detective looking for the missing daughter of a mega-wealthy woman would probably never make it to pilot, Hasburgh gives Holmes enough colorful company (including a giant malamute named Winston) to ease readers down the slopes while hoping for a more original narrative next time.