book cover of A Man Named Doll
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A Man Named Doll

(2021)
(The first book in the Happy Doll series)
A novel by

 
 
In this deliciously noir novel from the creator of HBO's Bored to Death, idiosyncratic private detective Happy Doll embarks on a quest to help a dying friend in a sun-blinded Los Angeles  as "quirky, edgy, charming, funny and serious" as its protagonist (Lee Child). 

Happy Doll is a charming, if occasionally inexpert, private detective living just one sheer cliff drop beneath the Hollywood sign with his beloved half-Chihuahua half-Terrier, George. A veteran of both the Navy and LAPD, Doll supplements his meager income as a P.I. by working through the night at a local Thai spa that offers its clients a number of special services. Armed with his sixteen-inch steel telescopic baton, biting dry humor, and just a bit of a hero complex, the ex-cop sets out to protect the women who work there from clients who have trouble understanding the word "no."
 
Doll gets by just fine following his two basic rules: bark loudly and act first. But when things get out-of-hand with one particularly violent patron, even he finds himself wildly out of his depth, and then things take an even more dangerous twist when an old friend from his days as a cop shows up at his door with a bullet in his gut.
 
A Man Named Doll is more than just a fascinating introduction to one truly singular character, it is a highly addictive and completely unpredictable joyride through the sensuous and violent streets of LA.



Genre: Mystery

Praise for this book

"If Elliott Gould’s Philip Marlowe landed in the middle of Uncut Gems, you’d have something like Jonathan Ames’s A MAN NAMED DOLL, which expertly mines the dark humor, mordant wit and dreamy fatalism of great LA noir. And at its center is a detective with a battered heart and bruised conscience. I’d follow him, and his dog George, anywhere." - Megan Abbott

"A MAN NAMED DOLL is so fun and propulsive I didn’t just read it in one sitting, I read it in what felt like a single breath. Happy Doll is a tremendously likable main character, and the Los Angeles he inhabits is vibrantly alive in every detail. I hope Jonathan Ames has many more adventures planned for the newest P.I. in town." - Lou Berney

"A MAN NAMED DOLL: a singular read about the peril of having a body. Gallows humor in overdrive on Dilaudid, crashing merrily downhill." - Bill Beverly

"I loved this book - it's quirky, edgy, charming, funny and serious, all in one. Very highly recommended." - Lee Child

"A Man Named Doll is a smart, sharp, and stylish noir for the modern day. In his cinematic tour of Los Angeles that is both gritty and gorgeous, Ames has delivered a novel that is both current and timeless and has introduced a sleuth who fits all the old traditions while creating his own. Crime at its finest!" - Ivy Pochoda

"A MAN NAMED DOLL infuses the private eye concept with an unpredictable, vibrant energy, while losing none of the genre’s core, noir elements. Ames is a master of blending humor, pathos, and grit - and A MAN NAMED DOLL is no exception. A truly modern L.A. noir that still manages to feel timeless and steeped in the classics that came before." - Alex Segura


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