Killer Nashville Book of the Day

Hap and Leonard Cover final

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Joe lansdale (photo by Karen Lansdale)

Joe R. Lansdale

Hap and Leonard by Joe R. Lansdale
Reviewed by Britany Menken

Joe R. Lansdale’s Hap and Leonard features a Texan crime-fighting duo, who throw around rich comedic one-liners while solving mysteries of proportions as huge as their home state. Through this collection of short stories, we meet a pair of close-knit friends: Leonard, who’s all bark and all bite, and Hap, who’s happy to bite but has a sensible way about it.

In stories like “Dead Aim”, the meat and potatoes of the book, we see well-developed, polished characters trying to protect a woman from a disgruntled future husband—or so it seems, at first glance. As the story continues, the two men find themselves in a predicament, which includes a dodgy lawyer and a mountain of debt owed to thugs.

Now a SundanceTV original series, the book draws the reader in by creating comedy and crime-related tension in every nook and cranny of each story. With all the mystery, humor, and sharp-shootin’ mixed in, you meet characters so easy to connect with, you forget you’re reading a book and feel like you’re simply just getting to know someone. Brothers by bond, Hap and Leonard’s different skin colors have never stopped them from solving cases together. Though Leonard is gay, he ignores the social norms that come with it, and isn’t afraid to shove a man’s head through a wall during a heated bar fight. Hap’s red headed darling Brett spices up the collection with her sassy southern charm.

As the stories progress, we learn of Hap and Leonard’s humble beginnings, and their struggle with prejudice against Leonard’s color and sexual preference of men. This everlasting friendship catapults into a fighting duo, with the help of Brett’s vanilla cookies and crisp Dr. Pepper. If you find yourself on the wrong side of Hap and Leonard, be cautious, because they are quicker than a rattlesnake, and their bite is just as bad. If you find yourself an innocent bystander looking for a great book to read, you’ve come to the right place.


Britany Menken graduated from Tusculum College in ’14 with a degree in Creative Writing and a minor in British literature. Besides being an avid reader, she enjoys working for different book editing/reviewing outlets online. Other skills include making a mean pot of coffee and being a mom to a gray and orange tabby who occasionally helps her review books. (Said tabby is quite picky.)


If you have a book you would like featured, send an ARC for consideration. The Killer Nashville Book of the Day Reviews are coordinated by Clay Stafford with the assistance of Emily Eytchison and credited guest reviewers.

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