Saturday 27 August 2022



Washed up pitching prospect, Rock Cobbler, now a hotshot detective with the Santa Lacrimosa PD likes working alone as much as he likes bourbon. That is to say, a lot. One rainy night at Santa Lacrimosa Clown College he finds himself looking out a dorm room window. Down below lay the hilariously twisted body of Mr. Rubadubdub, apparently tossed from that very same window. The investigation into the defenestration of the promising young clown will lead Rock through dive bars, contemporary Christian clowning performances, and down into the seedy underbelly of clown lore. He will discover what no non-clown should know; like the existence of dangerous, rival clown factions that will stop at nothing in search of clown dominance and the possession of one particular venerated clown relic. To crack the case, he will have to match wits, and game, with the alluring Professor Wiggles. Will Rock take a pie to the face? Or will he solve the case before more clowns die?

Murder in Greasepaint is equal parts Chandler, Christopher Moore, Bozo, and Bourbon.

A really enjoyable murder mystery set in the world of clowns, a clown college, clown folklore, clown factions, clown history, clown secrets, clown porn, clown treasure – Dan Rice’s Knucklebones - and clown wars.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect with this one, but it was a real joy.

Great narration, an interesting main character detective in Rock Cobbler, a man who is slightly out of his depth here as several clowns have the measure of him, including the alluring and equally fearsome Professor Wiggles with her honkers amongst other attributes.

I enjoyed the investigation..... campus interviews, bar trips, library research. I enjoyed seeing how Leavins worked with his partner. He didn't for the better part, which was an interesting and unusual cop dynamic. Alcohol usually isn't a major part of police investigation, but Cobbler does have a taste for it.

I really liked the supporting characters here, especially Sara the librarian and Cobbler’s police chief boss – a man who seems more obsessed with his next dancing competition and wardrobe worries as he does having his detectives clearing cases.

The backdrop of clown history and genealogy was really interesting. I had several Google diversions, looking up people and history to try and separate the fact from the fiction. It’s been a while since I read anything quite so quirky as this.

I’m liking the look of Whiskey Leavins’ other published work – The Devil’s Own Piss and Other Stories. It sounds like my kind of book.

4 from 5   

Read – (listened to) July, 2022

Published – 2022

Page count – 244 (6 hrs 55 mins)

Source – Audible purchase

Format – Audible


  1. You know, Col, I've never before read a book with a focus on clowns/clowning/etc. before. It's a culture I know nearly nothing about, and that in itself would interest me. It sounds like a solid mystery, too. Glad you enjoyed it.

    1. Margot, I found the whole book fascinating, especially the culture of clowns and clowning, which was all new to me..