The Mezcal Crack-Up, by Paul Di Filippo (paperback)

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Perpetual scam artists Glen and Stan find themselves with a million-dollar stake after their last exploit. Of course, this money must be invested to provide for their future. Why? Because the boys must now go straight. Their notoriety from previous adventures now makes it impossible for them to continue as scammers.

The trouble is, they can’t agree on an investment.

Stan impulsively dumps his half of the money into Elysian Pavilion, a drug-and-alcohol rehab house. He wants Glen to do the same, but Glen wants to open a trendy mezcal bar.

An impassable roadblock looms before Glen in the form of the state’s chief liquor distributor, Oskar Stoltz, and his scary flunky, Doug McClatchy. Stoltz hates mezcal and won’t carry it.

Glen’s plan seems permanently stymied . . . until he meets three vital people: Trevor Yorn, young rich trustafarian with a handy venue to host parties. Araceli Zavala, a young Mexican-American woman with mythic resonance. And Fulgencio Pérez, Araceli’s visiting uncle from Mexico, who happens to be a maestro mezcalero, distiller supreme.

All the pieces fall into place for a boutique mezcal distillery and a weekly rave, by which Glen will fulfill his dreams and get rich.

But the enmity of Stoltz and McClatchy has not abated. Danger, death, and destruction lie in the shadows—leading inexorably toward a final, apocalyptic confrontation!


“Paul Di Filippo expertly spins a tale of revenge, betrayal, and a fight for salvation.” —Brendan Dubois

“[This] cocktail of classic noir blends a cast of sexy and larcenous guys and molls, a wittily suspenseful buildup, and a gasp-provoking payoff.” —Michael Bishop