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by Louisa Luna




Hired to track down the stripper girlfriend of a wealthy acquaintance, Queenie Sells finds herself accused of the woman's murder and is targeted by the actual killer in her investigations at such locations as Coney Island and the Waldorf-Astoria, where she meets a host of colorful characters. 20,000 first printing.
Download Serious As a Heart Attack: A Novel epub
ISBN: 0743466608
ISBN13: 978-0743466608
Category: Literature
Subcategory: United States
Author: Louisa Luna
Language: English
Publisher: Atria; 1st edition (May 25, 2004)
Pages: 240 pages
ePUB size: 1726 kb
FB2 size: 1299 kb
Rating: 4.2
Votes: 602
Other Formats: azw lrf mobi txt

Qusserel
Kinda sad book, the heroine has a tough life but leads it with dysfunctional aplomb. I really like this author.
Kale
An okay story. The lead character drinks too much. She is reminiscent of Cyndi Laupner. The author's book 'Two Girls Down' was very good, and that's why I read this. It was disappointing, not near as good.
Rocky Basilisk
Reviewed by Leslie Van Newkirk for Small Spiral Notebook

If she wore the latest couture instead of three dollar flip flops, she could be a fashionista. If she ordered Cosmos instead of "red eyes" and whiskey shots, she could be a sophisticated spy. And if she were beautiful, she'd have a shot at being a Bond-girl bombshell. But Queenie Sells is not any of these. She's an aging, dysfunctional, not-quite-hipster from Burning Grounds, Brooklyn, and courtesy of Louisa Luna in Serious As a Heart Attack, she's one of the most refreshing heroines to shamble into the mystery genre. Queenie drinks, smokes, passes out, and wears clothing pulled from a festering laundry bag. But Luna manages to make Queenie endearing, rather than annoying; and although occasionally Queenie's internal philosophies border on the naïve, it's satisfying to follow a protagonist that has such confidence, yet still manages to do everything wrong (the antithesis would be the chick-lit heroine in so many novels today, who, despite her insecurity and bumbling foibles, somehow secures her own rightful position at the top of the career heap).

Luna's third novel showcases Sells's unique ability to sniff out trouble wherever it brews. As Queenie says, "Sometimes people told Queenie things. She noticed it when she was in high school, even after she started going to Boston for day school with the rich kids; the kids in the neighborhood, the mill kids, would still find her, not ask for anything, just talk themselves hoarse, tell her all their secrets." And of course, this characteristic makes her a perfect candidate for a reluctant private eye. But before Queenie can get her sleuth on, she's got other messes to make - getting fired, getting home, and getting wasted in that order. However, a happenstance meeting with her old friend Hummer gives her a second chance at making a few extra bucks. Her mission is to find out what has happened to his mistress, Paper Doll stripper Trigger Happy, who had disappeared the week before. As with the "mill kids," Queenie's in her element at the Paper Doll and is able to wrangle some information from another stripper, Baby. But in Luna's words, "It was a little after ten, and Queenie made a professional decision that if she was going to do any more research for the night, she would have to be drunk." This description sums up Sells's character throughout most of the novel, although her diversions into inebriation give Queenie, a kind of lucidity and purpose for her task, like Popeye when he eats his spinach to fight the bully Bluto.

Written in the same sparse style as her previous endeavor, Crooked, Luna has a knack for characterizing the marginal - lost, deluded, crazy, and criminal people hovering on the fringes, bumming cigarettes from the rest of us. But whereas Crooked was engaging, if somewhat humorless, Queenie's comedic witticisms keep Serious As a Heart Attack from becoming too staid. Furthermore, like Jonathan Lethem and Collin Harrison's city nocturnes, Luna takes us on a Manhattan-Brooklyn detour, dragging us through neighborhood joints that we would not likely venture into without our literary guide. Yet this Brooklyn balladist doesn't philosophize. Her main character tells it like it is and most of it ain't pretty.

At times, Ms. Luna's prose is repetitive. And occasionally, the reader may wish that there were a little more to the plot or that some of Queenie's unraveling threads actually turned into secondary storylines, instead of meandering and then fading away. But these are insignificant criticisms in light of a very entertaining book. I'm willing to bet that more than a few fans will follow Queenie's progress, if only to sit on the sidelines and hope that she gets her life together. Which begs the question for the future: if Queenie Sells ever cleaned up her act and became a more traditional protagonist, would she be nearly as much fun?
Chilldweller
On the train to work in Manhattan, the Brooklyn Dodger runs into Hummer Fish from high school. They discuss how friends and relatives are doing like her dead grandfather of three decades. Finally Queenie informs Hummer that she will be fired from her proofing job at a calendar making company for missing that the start of daylight savings was placed on the wrong Sunday. Hummer hires Queenie to find his girlfriend, stripper Trigger Happy.
Queenie locates Trigger in her apartment, but wonders if she can collect a fee since the stripper is dead. NYPD Detective Olds suspects Queenie killed Trigger. Though she sasses the cops at every moment, someone stalks her while she makes the rounds (food and drink that is, not amateur sleuthing) of the two boroughs. On her trek to not smoke, not stay up all night, and not get laid, she meets a private detective who appreciates a woman with a New York mouth and willing to prove her innocence though Queenie knows not getting laid seems impossible.
This offbeat crime thriller is a delightful satirical slice of New York starring a tough-ass female who uses profanity as a greeting and symbolically rides the F-train. The story line never takes itself seriously as Queenie prefers bar hopping in Coney Island, but knows she must find the killer before either Olds arrests her or the culprit gives her a permanent home in the ground where she will stay out late forever. Louisa Luna provides a fun wild New York joy ride starring a BRAVE NEW GIRL.
Harriet Klausner
I love Mercedes
Anyone interested in the human condition -- anyone who has been on a bus or subway at 10 o'clock on a Wednesday morning and observed a young woman, though seemingly not deranged but clearly drunk, sloven and discombobulated, and wondered to yourself: "what's her story?" -- this book is for you. They say there are some 14 million stories in the naked city, and while Louisa Luna only has room to give us one example in "Serious as a Heart Attack," it is clear from her sensitive attention to detail and the poignancy with which she shares her characters with the reader that she has the guts and talent to tackle the next 13,999,999. In her third novel, Ms. Luna proves once and for all that not only is her talent serious, but her intensity is indeed like a myocardial infarction.