Oops, I meant to link to Holly's review of this book, so I'm editing to add that in!
I read THE FUNNIEST BOOK in the history of the world! Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration, but Bobbie Faye's Very (Very, Very, Very) Bad Day by Toni McGee Causey had me laughing out loud. With a clever, official-looking map at the beginning labeled "Louisiana State Insurance Archive of Bobbie Faye Sumrall Disasters (Southwest Region)," you know you're going to be suspending disbelief. Each chapter has a quote about Bobbie Faye, and the first quote is, "You know how some people are born to Greatness? Well, Bobbie Faye Sumrall woke up one morning, kicked Greatness in the teeth, kneed it in the balls, took it hostage, and it's been begging for mercy ever since," attributed to "a former Louisiana mayor after Bobbie Faye accidentally ran her car into his office, knocking pages of fraud evidence into the street, which helped land him in Federal prison." Those two components at the very beginning could be setting us up for a fun ride or trying to compensate for a lackluster novel. Fortunately for us, it's the first!
Bobbie Faye is having the worst day of her life, and for someone inadvertently attracted to disaster like a moth to a flame, that's saying something. She wakes up in the morning to her five-year-old niece remarking that there's a swimming pool inside. She's caring for her niece while her sister is drying out, as ordered by the courts, and her trailer has flooded because her no-good brother Roy hasn't fixed the washing machine. The Sumralls have been fixtures in Lake Charles, Louisiana ("if someone had labeled it 'home of the hard drinkers who make Mardi Gras revelers look like big fluffy candy asses,' it might have staggered to attention and saluted") for generations, and Bobbie Faye is the latest in a long line of Contraband Days Queens since her mother died, complete with a battered tiara. It turns out that Roy has been kidnapped by someone demanding the worthless tiara, but when Bobbie Faye takes it out of the safety-deposit box (it may be worthless, but she didn't want her sister hocking it for booze), she loses it to bank robbers. She takes a guy hostage and goes in pursuit of the robbers, with the FBI and local police (led by her ex-husband of all people) following closely behind. This is a wild ride with abundant humor, a touch of mystery (who *is* this guy she took hostage? why would anyone want that tiara this badly?), and over-the-top action. Can Bobbie Faye find the tiara, save her brother, keep temporary custody of her niece, avoid mushy thoughts about her handsome hostage, and survive this day? I can't think of anyone who wouldn't compulsively read this one to find out!