The Vanishing Gold Truck (Screwball Circus Mysteries #1), by Harry Stephen Keeler (epub/Kindle/pdf)
"My guiltiest pleasure is Harry Stephen Keeler. He may been the greatest bad writer America has ever produced. Or perhaps the worst great writer. I do not know. There are few faults you can accuse him of that he is not guilty of. But I love him." -- Neil Gaiman
When the Cedarville bank is robbed of a gold shipment, Sheriff Bucyrus Duckhouse of Willis Creek was just where he wants to be -- waiting at the end of the Smoky Ridge Tunnel where any minute the robbers have just got to emerge. But meanwhile, carny Jim Craney has a truckful of trouble as he scrambles to catch up with the rest of his circus. A truck full of lioness and five newborn kittens! The only way he can make it in time to marry the circus woman he loves is if the Sheriff will let him take the Straightaway through the tunnel. Otherwise he'll have to take Old Twistibus, the road so crooked they gave it a name.