Mark Haskell Smith
Black Cat (Grove/Atlantic), Aug 6 2010, $14.00
In Los Angeles botanist Miro Basinas is shot. One month earlier, Miro competed in the international Cannabis Cup tournament in Amsterdam. Stunningly his Elephant Crush won the gold medal at the competition because of its wonderful flavoring that tastes like mango.
Miro thought by entering his prize specialty grown weed he would hit the big time especially after he won. Now in a hospital as he recovers from being shot he learns his seed has been stolen by predatory capitalists who plan to sell his cannabis. He vows revenge, but has no idea how one goes about becoming an avenger as this is comic books or a movie and he is a weed botanist; besides he has no idea who shot him and stole his seed as several predators, besides the usual suspects, surface.
This is a dark amusing crime caper starring a half baked capitalist botanist and a horde of eccentric characters who run the gamut of stereotypical free market idealists. Although the support cast can strain the story line with too much quirkiness, readers who enjoy something different will appreciate the battle of the capitalists who want to sell legally at medical marihuana “Starbucks” and illegally on the streets, Miro blend with or without his cooperation; as competition is cutthroat.