I’m going to put this right at the top where you can’t miss it—pre-order The Donut Legion now! The novel releases March 21st, 2023, but believe me when I tell you, this is one you want in your hands the second it’s available. For fans of Lansdale, for fans of top-notch crime fiction, for fans of addictive page-turners in general, The Donut Legion is more fun than a murderous chimpanzee in cowboy hat and boots with a penchant for tearing the arms and legs clean off folks.

Did I mention the novel features a murderous chimpanzee in a cowboy hat and boots with a penchant for tearing the arms and legs clean off folks? There’s also a possible ghostly visitation, a flying saucer cult waiting to be raptured by aliens, a warehouse allegedly stockpiled with weapons, assorted donuts, assorted psychotic bad guys, and a gorgeous redheaded journalist named Scrappy.

Charlie has an ex-wife named Meg he still has feelings for, so when she goes missing he gets a bad feeling. A retired private detective turned writer, Charlie enlists the help of his brother Felix (who took over the detective biz from him) and the aforementioned Scrappy to find Meg. The three are soon embroiled in a deadly game of cat and mouse with those saucer people and psychos. As the bodies pile up, Lansdale does what he does best, ratcheting up the tension in a tightly wound plot that grabs you by the neck and never lets go. The cool thing with Lansdale is, even as the story propels you forward, he never forgets to season it with large dollops of his trademark, often profane humor, much of it in the form of dialogue. The Donut Legion is a novel begging to be read out loud, preferably in an East Texas twang, just to hear those words sing.

Charlie, Meg, and Felix are my favorite Lansdale creations since Hap and Leonard. And, as usual, he surround them with a rogues gallery of characters as colorful as they are dangerous. The Donut Legion is a fast, fun, immensely satisfying read. Like I said, pre-order it now, and maybe take March 21st off of work for some you-time. You’ll be glad you did.

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