J.P. Rieger

GENRE:  Family satire; Farce; Magical realism

Three nephews and three eccentric uncles.


It’s 2050 and Robbie Elders has all but forgotten about his oddball, religious fanatic uncle, tim tim. He’s taken up the latest fad, genealogical research based solely on DNA. But Robbie’s “inconclusive” DNA results are unsettling. He crashes back to his childhood, back to his world of comic books and tim tim.

“I opt for posh and London” declares Lady Florence Stour. It’s 2019 and time for a Royal Wedding. Robbie’s uncle, Stef, is engaged to Lady Florence, a distant member of the British royal family. Stef’s Baltimore clan have been invited, but Robbie’s mom and dad can’t attend. They’ve entrusted Robbie and big brother, Doyle, to their mom’s two eccentric brothers, uncles Roy and Roland. Roy, a weathered waterman with a severe Baltimore accent, lives for Maryland blue crabs. Roland, a mildly hypochondriacal actor, lives to survive the Karens he unavoidably encounters. And then there’s Desales, Roy’s smart aleck, teenage son. He lives to prank. They’ve descended upon London. What could possibly go wrong?

Meanwhile, tim tim has been coaching Robbie on “the mission.” A silly religious fantasy according to Robbie’s atheist parents and the therapists. Or perhaps not? Things are not always as they appear in The Big Comb Over.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

He was thinking that the man’s accent could be Irish. But more Cockney, almost. Odd. He saw the man thrust his hand forward.

“Name’s Roy.” He shook Roy’s hand, earnestly.

“Name’s Dixon. Pleasure to meet you.” He glanced over at Roy’s suit. “Nice couture! A refreshing play on seersucker! ‘Maison Dixon’ is mine. Curious to hear about yours!”

Roy felt a bit confused. He had already introduced himself. He figured maybe those white things were hearing aids. And he had a crazy name. “Ya said yours is Mason Dixon?”


“Like your Mason-Dixon line?”

“Well, thank you, Roy! Which particular line do you favor?”

Roy felt confused again. “Favor? Well, I was thinkin’ of the long one? The old one?”

Bertram nodded, knowingly. Nice to know the “Smart Man” line was still revered. Teddy had been encouraging him to drop it. “Yes, Smart Man, a long and successful line.”

Roy nodded. “Why, thanks, Mr. Dixon. But I would reckon everbody ’roun here’s heard of it. Don’t take too much brains. Historical, like.”

“Brilliant! Thanks, Roy. That’s my job. To keep those lines out in the public’s mind.”

Roy scratched at his rusty beard stubble. “So, like, ya do surveys, still? Ta mark the lines?”

“Well, certainly. But those are a little old school. We don’t always attach a survey to each line we produce. We get things done more with social media. Influencers, mainly. Good judges of the zeitgeist.”

Roy was thinking that surveyors setting lines without surveys didn’t sound very safe. And he wasn’t sure about the rest. “Ya done anything here in Bawlmer? Any new ones?” Roy had been shopping at that new supermarket in Middle River. He wanted to make sure the building was safe. He was hoping Mr. Dixon’s company was not involved.

About the Author:

J. Paul (J.P.) Rieger is a born and bred Baltimorean and mostly retired Maryland attorney. As such, he’s well acquainted with the quirkiness and charm of Baltimore’s unique citizens. He’s author of Clonk!, a police farce set in Baltimore and published in 2023 by Apprentice House Press (Loyola University-Baltimore). He’s also author of The Case Files of Roderick Misely, Consultant, a mystery novel featuring a wannabe lawyer anti-hero. The Big Comb Over, a slipstream comedy of manners featuring three nephews and their three eccentric uncles, is Paul’s third novel. Paul is married and lives in Towson, Maryland. 



J.P. Rieger will be awarding a randomly drawn winner $25 Amazon/BN gift card via Rafflecopter giveaway.

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  1. Good Morning, Literary Gold! Thanks for the opportunity to chat about my latest novel! I'm looking forward to responding to everyone's comments and questions. Have a great day, everyone!

  2. Sounds like quite the unique read. Intrigued.

    1. Thank you! It's received some decent reviews, so far. I'm hoping everyone enjoys it!

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you! I moved away from my more "hardboiled" writing style to do something more family based - more PG. But still with plenty of humor.

  4. This looks like a very fun read. Thanks for hosting this tour.

  5. Satire indeed. I like the attention getting title.

    1. Thank you! A lot of folks like the title, thankfully!

  6. Thanks Lit Gold for the opportunity to guest on your awesome blog! Good night, everyone!

  7. Replies
    1. Thank you! Hope you're able to give it a try!

  8. I don't think I have read a book like this before- it looks like one I really would like to read-thanks

  9. Sounds cool. Love the cover. Thank you for the excerpt! :)

    1. Thank you! I'm a fan of the famous pop artist, Roy Lichtenstein. I love the vintage comic look.

  10. This is an interesting combination of genres!

    1. Thanks! I wanted to go a little outside the box...


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