How does one describe FOX’s freshman hit, Brooklyn Nine-Nine? I’ll let the show’s star, Andy Samberg, do it for me: “We’re a like a family with two black dads, two white sons, two Latina daughters and a strange baby thing.”
If that sounds like stunt casting to you, don’t be so sure. Captain Raymond Holt (played by Andre Braugher, the actor who cornered the market on gravitas) is a no-nonsense commander who just happens to be married to a male university professor. Detective Sgt. Terry Jeffords (Terry Crews) spends as much time babysitting his staff as he does his adorable preschool daughters. Wiseass Detective Jake Peralta (Samberg) is a whiz at solving cases, equaled only by the overachieving Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero)—who just may be Peralta’s love match. The bumbling Charles Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio) constantly surprises, whether taking a bullet for his comrades, strutting his foodie knowledge or pining for his fierce and frightening colleague, Rosa Diaz. These people are layered, multidimensional and hilarious.
When we last left our heroes, Boyle had just broken up with his fiancée, Vivian, but his feelings for Diaz were as unrequited as ever. Captain Holt had just “fired” Peralta, who was about to go deep undercover to help take down a crime family. And Peralta’s fear of what could happen made him blurt out his feeling for Santiago before he disappeared down the rabbit hole.
There have been other ensemble cop shows (Hill Street Blues, NYPD Blue and The Shield were among the greatest), but they were dramas. In spite of what passed for 1970s humor in Starsky & Hutch, only the charming Barney Miller was a true police comedy—until now. Put together by the team that gave us Parks & Rec, it’s easy to see why this show rocks, and we can’t wait to see what happens next. But until then, here are some books to keep you company until the detectives of Brooklyn Nine-Nine return.
Skinny Dip by Carl Hiaasen (Grand Central Publishing)
If you’re like me and are looking for some laugh-out-loud crime capers, I’d recommend starting with Skinny Dip (which, like Carl Hiaasen’s previous novel, Skin Tight, features retired Florida state investigator Mick Stranahan and the ever-present Detective Al Garcia). Mick has to figure out what to do after a damsel in distress washes ashore on a bale of marijuana.
One Hot Mess by Lois Greiman (Dell)
One Hot Mess by Lois Greiman has Los Angeles psychologist Christina McMullen back on track with Detective Lt. Jack Rivera. Their relationship begins to sizzle until McMullin comes face-to-face with a client’s dangerous past. At the same time, her best friend, starlet Laney Butterfield, is getting creepy fan mail, and her neighbor is desperate for Chrissy to save a runaway from an abusive husband. Chrissy is a pro, but is this even more crazy than she can handle? Zany characters, hot romance, laughs and plenty of twists make this a fun read.
Rum Punch by Elmore Leonard (William Morrow Paperbacks)
This was the novel that inspired the Quentin Tarrantino movie Jackie Brown. It’s classic Leonard—sharp, ingenious, funny and fearless. It features an aging (but still hot) flight attendant named Jackie Burke whose job as courier for weapons dealer Ordell “Whitebread” Robbie has caught the attention of the feds. Can she find enough of an ally in bail bondsman Max Cherry to avoid her boss and the law—and maybe even wind up with a serious nest egg in the process?