Buzz Monkey by Sam Hill

Carroll & Graf (first), 2003

“Top” Kiernan does Clark Kent one better. He’s no “mild-mannered reporter,” instead he’s a research librarian. Who would suspect a librarian? Mind you, Kiernan isn’t your everyday librarian. He founded and heads a firm called Polymath (“someone who knows everything”), a high-tech, internet savvy team of 35 researchers who field 200 questions each day from publishers, authors and consulting firms. Polymath is based in Athens, Georgia, in an old elementary school building that Kiernan’s gradually renovating into both work space and living quarters — his bedroom is the school’s former basketball court. It’s great cover — but for what? Is Kiernan caped crusader or evil genius? This fast, funny and stylish first novel doesn’t answer the question. We learn that, addicted to the buzz, Kiernan moonlights as a soldier of fortune. We know that bad guys are after him because they think he has some of their money. And we learn that when bad guys are after him, Kiernan is more than capable of striking back. This is the first book in an intended series, and it’ll be interesting to see where Hill takes Kiernan. Pick up Buzz Monkey and get in on the ground floor; it’s bound to be a cool ride. (Jim Huang)

Originally published in Issue # 187 – November/December 2003

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