Today I’m reviewing the second book in the Roger Rabbit Trilogy. If you read my review last week about the first book, then you know I prefer this book more. Just because I enjoy this book more doesn’t mean that it’s perfect. Let’s dive in.
This book is set in the same world as the movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit and set in the late 1930s. This book can be seen as a sequel to the movie because Eddie is in a relationship with Dolores, Roger Rabbit is still married to Jessica Rabbit (in the first book she only married him because of a genie) and Roger is alive. The movie took place in 1949 but this book takes place during the filming of Gone With The Wind (which released in 1939). Why am I bringing up the classic film? Roger Rabbit is one of the three toons in the running for the lead role of Rhett Butler. While he is up for the part, a story hits the tabloids saying Jessica is cheating on him with Clarke Gable. What’s a rabbit to do but hire his best friend Eddie Valiant. Eddie reluctantly takes the case (he’s broke) and the book follows him in his attempt to solve this case. While working on Roger’s case, Eddie gets hired by the producer of Gone With The Wind to find a small box. The box was stolen by one of the three toons who are competing for the part of Rhett Butler.
As his relationship with Dolores crumbles, he reminisces about a trip he took with her and his brother Freddie. Not to be confused with his brother Teddy who was killed by Judge Doom or his sister Heddie (introduced in this book). Freddie fell in love with a toon and disappeared shortly after. After putting Roger’s case on the back burner, he puts all his efforts on finding the box. He goes to the house of one of the toon suspects Kirk Enigman. Eddie decides to try and strong-arm Kirk but it fails and Kirk plays him a film. The film shows Eddie’s brother Freddie alive but now he’s a toon. Just like the original book the plot line now includes characters crossing over ( toon to human and vice versa). While in the theater someone grabs Eddie’s hand and pulls the trigger of the gun Eddie was carrying. The bullets were dip tipped (the substance that kills the toons in the movie) so Kirk Enigman died after being shot. Enigman’s last word bubble implicates him as the murderer so he has to solve the case before he is arrested. Who killed Enigman, who stole the box, what’s special about the box, why is Freddie a toon and is Jessica cheating on Roger, these are all the cases Eddie has to solve
This is where the book starts to lose some of its charm as it loses the noir feel. I don’t want to give away the whole story but it starts having some zany plot lines, like Eddie’s infatuation with Joellyn. Joellyn is Jessica’s twin sister who is only six inches tall. This romance is weird for the book because Eddie still doesn’t like toons and has vowed to never take on toon cases and his brother becoming a toon did not help. Another zany plot point is the contents of the box, it contains a formula that turns humans to toons and toons to humans. But Roger was able to replicate the formula using a children’s chemistry set and turns himself human. Roger and Eddie are able to apprehend the real villain thanks to the help of a sleeping security guard. Like I said it’s zany but you don’t pick up a book like this for the mystery but rather the journey. If it wasn’t for Eddie, Gone With The Wind would have had toons and been a comedy film (he suggested Clarke Gable for the role of Rhett Butler). The real mystery is solved when it’s revealed that Jessica wasn’t cheating on Roger and is actually pregnant with his baby.
Just like the previous book, you can’t try to solve the mystery because the author is constantly throwing curveballs. Even though this book is tagged as a mystery novel, its more of a fantasy and should be read to lighten your mood. The book is well written and I read it one sitting. Do I recommend this book, yes and no. This book isn’t meant for everyone it’s written for fans of the movie and for readers who enjoy wacky adventures.