Nerds Like It Hot
Thompson’s latest Nerd book is a fluffy contemporary on a par with the rest of the series, but with a slightly darker edge. While Nerds Like it Hot was readable and amusing at times, the characters and plot aren’t the type to stay with you after the book is finished.
I should start by saying that I have never seen the classic movie Some Like It Hot staring Marilyn Monroe. I did look up the synopsis once I finished this book to see exactly what type of homage was paid to the movie. It appears that the author used some of the keys points without simply writing a remake.
Gillian, a Los Angeles make-up artist, witnesses the murder of the star of the movie she is currently working on (a remake of Some Like It Hot). She knows the murderer is the stepson of a top Mafia boss and, fearing for her life, she runs to her friend’s house to plan her next move.
Cora befriended Gillian a few years back. Since then the 82-year-old and the twenty-something have been bosom buddies. Cora has been bugging Gillian to go on a Nerd cruise (that’s right, a cruise aimed at single nerds) with her, but Gillian wants a bland life, and she doesn’t want to take a cruise or find a nerd to fall in love with. Her deceased daredevil, Evil Knieval-type father was killed during a stunt, and ever since she vowed to live a riskless – both physically and emotionally – life. But after the murder it is decided that the cruise would be a good place to hide and then escape into Mexico. Hiring a couple of PI’s to pose as bodyguards is also on the To Do list. Luckily, Cora knows just the right team: best friends and owners of a fledgling PI business who just happened to have grown up around Cora.
Lex Manchester is our hero and bodyguard, a former nerd turned hottie. He’s a nice guy and he’s infatuated with Gillian. I liked him but we didn’t learn much about him, which leads to one of my main problems with the book.
The author provides general blueprints of Gillian and Lex, but no more than that. The couple have next to no conflict regarding their feelings for each other. While it’s refreshing at first, it leaves little room for character development. The character who stands out the most is the villain, and even he is not drawn very well…just a bit more than the others.
Thompson’s Nerd villians tend to stand out, but Neil Rucker takes the cake. Neil is the stepson to a mob boss, a mediocre actor and a cross-dresser. When he lost the role he wanted to a big shot actor, he killed him with a Jimmy Choo. Realizing he had a witness, he hunts Gillian down and joins the cruise as Nancy, his female persona. He comes close, several times, to killing Gillian, but something always goes awry. There is also a rather disturbing scene with him and the cruise director. I’m not sure I will ever eat fruit again. Take that as you will.
There are quite a few things in this book that I didn’t buy, like an 82-year-old woman who walks, talks, and dresses like a twenty-year-old and a nerdy make-up artist who never realized her uncanny resemblance to Marilynn Monroe (red lipstick and a blonde dye job: “I never knew I could look like that.”…puleez) to name a few. Being a farce, I glossed over them and tried to enjoy the storyline, though it pushed the limits of my credulity at times.
Given the setting, dialogue, murder mystery, and villains, I liken this book to a CSI/Saved By The Bell combo – only with an R rating. Nerds Like it Hot remains readable, if forgettable. If you enjoyed the others books in the series, chances are that you will enjoy this one too. As for me, I’m off to rent Some Like It Hot.