Thursday, July 5, 2012

Review: The Hapless Valet

Len Stevens brings sparkle and snap and a little old-fashioned Hollywood glamor to his debut mystery novel, The Hapless Valet. In what will hopefully be the first of a series, the dashing hero Draper Burns – a “gentleman’s gentleman” fresh from duty in the French Foreign Legion, with a penchant for Shirley Temples, a way with the ladies, and an eye for fancy men’s watches – is sent to evaluate his employer’s investment in a movie being filmed in Portland.

After a suspicious “suicide” on the movie set, Draper starts seeing connections between the film’s stars, a retro jazz club, an animal rights protest turned ugly, local thugs, a right-wing tabloid, and a Mexican drug lord. There are times when the sheer number of characters and sub-plots verge on overwhelming the story, but Stevens manages to keep it all moving forward and eventually ties up every loose string – even the thing about the watches.

As a cross between James Bond and Bertie Wooster, Draper Burns makes an appealing hero. And Stevens make an appealing new author, with an ear for dialog and an eye for comic detail. The Hapless Valet is a fun, off-beat mystery that is sure to entertain.


If you would like your review of this book listed here, please leave a comment with a link and I will add it.


See my interview of Len Stevens, here.


  1. I adore the cover so I'm tickled to see the book is good!

  2. Hi Gilion,

    This books sounds like a great, fun read and like Kathy, I also love the creative cover art.

    I have only just recently discovered the world of writing with humour and although at first I was very sceptical, I have found that I am enjoying these encounters every bit as much as the more serious genres of books.

    If you enjoyed the encounter, then I can recommend another couple of authors that you may enjoy:

    Your book has definitely found a place on my reading list, so thanks for sharing.


    Sherban Young

    R.P (Rebecca) Dahlke

    If you want to check out my reviews for books by these two great exponents of the mystery/suspense/romance/humour genre, then just search on the 'Authors' category of my blog

  3. Sounds like a lot of fun. Like Kathy, I love the cover. Sold!

  4. Kathy: The cover is very good. I think it was inspired by Jack Ohman, Portland's own famous political cartoonist.

    Yvonne: I'll come by looking for other authors. Thanks!

    Mary: Worth the price, and more. For sure!


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