‘Dinner at the Happy Skeleton’ by Chris Chalmers

My Review (5 stars out of 5)

Pushing 40, Dan is a gay man in the Noughties, single and promiscuous, and in an odd relationship with two men. When he is sacked from his job with an advertising firm, Dan finds himself with a bit of time and money and no particular desire to hunt down alternative employment. Taking a break in Helsinki, the sighting of a former lover sets in motion a longing to put the past to rest.

This is the first book I’ve read by this author, and I’m happy to say it won’t be the last. But before I wax lyrical about his talents, I did spot an odd sequence near the end of chapter two that almost stopped me dead. The hero/narrator is suddenly able to see and hear a conversation in the ladies’ toilets in a way that would work fine if this weren’t a first-person narrative. Weird, for sure. But thankfully, it only happens once and I suspect the author has since updated it. The rest of the book is an absolute delight. Chris Chalmers writes with a style and confidence that makes me think he must live near that mythical shop where writers go for lessons in wit and originality. Wherever he gets it from, his prose is wonderfully free of the tedious and mundane writing so many authors cling to. He has a fresh and distinctive style, shorn of clichés and trite witticisms and underscored with a sense of humour that had me grinning like the proverbial cat.

Though nothing very much happens in Dinner at the Happy Skelton, the author’s ability to describe even the most mundane events as if they’d never been seen by human eyes before, demonstrates his gift for sharp observation, sprinkling everything with a touch of magic. A delightful and thoroughly entertaining read.

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  4 comments for “‘Dinner at the Happy Skeleton’ by Chris Chalmers

  1. 08/05/2023 at 6:37 PM

    I like the sound of this book, Colin.


    • 08/05/2023 at 7:45 PM

      It’s a fun read, Robbie, and makes a change from all the murder/mystery books I read 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. 23/04/2023 at 8:51 PM

    Thanks Colin. Just went back to the book and checked Chap 2…. Yep, it’s a fair cop! I suppose the narrator must have relied on Sandra to report the incident back to him later. But well spotted!


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