My Gun Has Bullets is an entertaining parody of the American television industry.
LAPD Sgt. Charlie Willis is shot in the belly by Esther Radcliffe, the mystery-solving cookie-baking "Aunt Agatha" of Sunday television when he stops her for speeding and reckless driving. Why was she driving so dangerously? Why, she was just trying to get to a Neiman Marcus sale before the store closed.
Eight months later, Charlie is on television as super-cop Lt. Derek Thorne in the United Broadcasting Company's new cop show, My Gun Has Bullets – a reward/bribe to forget that disastrous Radcliffe encounter. Now, he's making $15,000 an episode, with a 13-episode guarantee.
On the other side of town, producer Eddie Planet's ("It's pronounced 'pla-nay'") Frankencop ain't doing too well on the Monumental Broadcasting Company's Thursday late-night schedule, up against My Gun. And that's bad news, because he's being financed by a mobster whose cousin, Flint Westwood, is the series star. Flint, by the way, does have previous acting experience. He used to be a "body" double in porn films.
Changes are in order. Eddie has to deal with a new co-executive producer – Delbert Skaggs, a contract killer (Eww).The UBC network decides to add some youth to Aunt Agatha's cast – Sabrina Bishop, former erotic movie bimbo (Vavavoom). Plus, Boo Boo the dog has disappeared (Awwwww).
And then, Charlie actually blasts a guest star bad guy character away with real bullets while filming a scene. What happened? Well, I turn it over to you now. I've got better things to do ... like finish reading the book.
Charlie Willis made an encore appearance in Goldberg's 1977 novel, Beyond the Beyond, which was retitled Dead Space and reissued in 2009 for the Kindle edition.
Author Lee Goldberg must have had a lot of fun writing My Gun Has Bullets and taking sardonic potshots at the television industry. His description of the Aunt Agatha show is a spot-on parody of Angela Lansbury's Murder She Wrote, the popular television series about Jessica "J.B." Fletcher, whom many believe was based on Agatha Christie's elderly sleuth, Miss Marple.
I just wish somebody would actually read the results of optical character scanning and make corrections to its inherent errors – such as reading "ll" as "n," "b" as "h," and "rn" as "m." It's so annoying and distractive.
St. Martins Press ($11.99 list)
Kindle edition, 2009 ($2.99 list)