|“I received this book from the author as part of the “First Reads”program and thoroughly enjoyed it. The characters were well written, I really enjoyed the old geezers group of flyers, I could see them in my mind and brought a smile to my face. The desert setting was easily visualized from the writing but could maybe have been fleshed out the danger of it a bit more. The book doesn’t follow the typical mystery/thriller formula which I found as a refreshing change. The authors use of words in the English language outside of my usual vocabulary was also enjoyable. I like stretching my reading legs a bit without being overwhelmed and using a character to do so in my mind was enjoyable, I feel it allowed the author to use words without alienating the average reader (such as myself) without going overboard.” Jon Blomquist, Goodreads Prize Winner
“Flipka is the delightful debut of an imaginative new author : JT TWissel.The quirky protagonist is Flipka aka Dr. Fiona Butters, a psychiatrist who left her practice to “join the circus” in Las Vegas. Sent to check on a young girl at a reformatory where a counselor has mysteriously disappeared, her interactions with the other idiosyncratic characters are told with wit.This funny mystery twists and turns unexpectedly and Twissel makes every word count. The writing reminds me of Edward Abbey -perhaps in part because of the setting – the state of Nevada is portrayed as an eccentric character in itself. Pick up this book it will entertain and amuse you.”
JT Twissel, you’ve re-invented the mystery, in a good way. I’m a voracious mystery consumer, JA Jance, Michael Connelly and Agatha Christie to name a few. You’ve taken a fresh, decidedly non-formula, approach to the genre and I was happily surprised with the results. In the novel, smart and cheeky, Flipka, which is a Russian nickname for Twissel’s protagonist, finds herself up to her ankles in teen angst and as she struggles to break free, a mystery unravels that pulls her back, and back. The writing is clean, the story is well-paced and the outcome is delicious. I look forward to reading more from Twissel in the future.
“Husband and I are three chapters in….. What a fun read! Scenes are expressed like paintings. Love the characters!I am going to recommend “Flipka” to my book club for our September selection.”
“Funny, suspenseful, entertaining, erudite (Lamarck!), this book showed me a good time. JT Twissel owns Nevada like Fellini owns Rome. I hope to see more from this author.”
“Her zany humor shines and I got to say, being a desert rat and a former member of the juvenile system, she has nailed the setting and sentiment. So if you want something funny with a lot of twists and turns, Twissle’s baby, FLIPKA, is the ticket.”
” A swell introduction to a new — female — detective series (I hope). Twissel’s Nevada brings Hiaasen’s South Florida to mind, in all the best ways… ”
“Part detective story, part psychological journey. Fiona Butters deals with incarcerated teen girls, cave bats and assorted desert eccentrics. Hard to say which is scarier.”
“From “Flipka’s” Fiona Butters and her Cheetos addiction, to the crusty store owner and taxidermy specialist — let’s face it, with all characters in this book — JT Twissel engages her audience and guides it through a twisting romp.” Amazon Reviewer
“Don’t speed-read this book. Enjoy the rhythmic flow, the clever plot, and Twissel’s witty outlook. I am giving “Flipka” to friends and relatives for birthdays and other celebrations.” Amazon Reviewer
“This delightful book keeps you entertained and intrigued while mixing in light humor. My Christmas presents will include this book!” Amazon Reviewer
“I was drawn in immediately by the skilful way JT handles this most American of genres – the first person private investigator telling the story in a wisecracky way. The first character we meet has “pent up cigarette smoke escaping through every orifice north of his neck.” I admired the way she didn’t just have the protagonist announce who she was and what she was doing, but instead released the information in intriguingly small doses. “His eyes were so clouded over that the doctor in me wanted to tell him he could get help for cataracts. But I was sure that would be none of my damn business too.”
Then as the story unfolded I had the definite feeling the plot had been conceived by some method similar to the one I suggest in my booklet “Ideas for at least a Billion Stories” (downloadable free from my website folks!http://bit.ly/1ka0iuM) designed to help writers think outside the box. It certainly makes a change to find a high-flying academic expert on hysteria in the adolescent female and Jungian Dream Theory currently occupied as the props lady for a Los Vegas casino show, nicknamed Flipka by the Russian acrobats (that being “a Russian term of endearment for a difficult broad”). Her talents don’t end there; she also paints Santas and Easter bunnies in store windows.
OK, you think, I’ll go along with this crazy plot because the difficult broad certainly has a way with words. Frances De La Tour (wonderful English actress) once said to Alan Bennett (wonderful English playwright) “People don’t actually speak like that, you know”, to which he replied “I know. It’s called “style”.
48% into the book, the plot went into hyperspace; but you go with it because you’re on the same spaceship, boldly going where maybe no author has gone before…
The wacky, utterly unbelievable plot is, however, merely the vehicle for JT Twissel to demonstrate her enviable skill set. Highly knowledgeable in a number of disciplines, she is very well read (I’m a sucker for literary references), sharply observant when it comes to individual character definitions, with a wickedly dry sense of humour and a wonderful command of language. 59% into the book you will meet the very likeable pilot Captain Wug, capable of such sentences as “May I ask, mellifluous one, why you want to know about the miasma behind our legendary monadnock?”
It’s a hoot from start to finish; though I’m not sure all the inhabitants of the fine state of Nevada would go all the way with me on that one.”
“Flipka’ is the book you need to have with you whenever you find yourself with time to spare such as when stuck somewhere like an airport lounge waiting for connecting flights and you need taking out of yourself. This is not a book you’ll want to put down once you start reading.
This book is written by a quality writer in a fresh, free flowing style that balances an often irreverent humour with a pervading sense of threat, albeit in a highly original way.’
Set in what the author describes as the <i>‘’wacky state of Nevada’</i> where a bunch of maladjusted, teenage girls in an institution in the scary eastern part of the State have managed to disappear their counsellor. The East Nevada desert is said to have a character all of its own
In drives Fiona Butters, one time psychoanalyst now turned animal trainer working for Mr. Las Vegas himself- whose daughter is interned at the institution.
And the fun and games begin, continuing to the last page.
The characters, settings and dialogue are all very real and the humour zany in pages of sheer reading pleasure.
This is the book you need to take you out of yourself to give you a lift and a smile.
I first read early chapters of this book when published on the Internet and have since bought and read the complete and revised version.
I cannot recommend this highly enough.”
“This is a charming and unusual book. Rarely does one see a protagonist with as few social skills as Dr. Fiona Butters, former psychologist, now prop queen for a Russian acrobat team in Los Vegas. Which turns out to have absolutely nothing to do with the story, as Fiona goes off to the Eastern Nevada Girls’ Training Facility (Reformatory) affectionately known as Enev, to find out what’s going on with the big casino owner’s daughter, who is one of the “inmates” there. Questions of Satanic worship and secret passages arise, a transformative journal is discovered, tunnels are explored, amnesia occurs… and the FBI, BLM, a crooked sheriff, a quick-switching Warden, and an old WW2 pilot all make appearances in this wacky novel. The ending is a little odd, but then again, between the explosions and the amnesia, surely even that will entertain the heck out of you.
What a fun story! Full of twists and turns and unexpected revelations, JT Twissel makes it clear that she’s a writer with skill, style, and wit. I doubt you’ll solve the mystery until the end–I was kept guessing right up until the last page–but I’ll bet you love the characters, especially the protagonist, Dr. Butters.”