Reality is stranger than reality TV.
When Tony Battaglia wakes up after his successful heart transplant, he's expecting a new lease on life. Even after a decade of stitching together the most ridiculous footage on the most outrageous reality shows, the reality-TV editor could never have expected that his new heart was formerly owned by "Gator Guys" star Lonnie Lalonde Junior. The development puts Tony on the wrong side of the camera, involved in the plot of the show-and with a murder mystery.
The official story was that Lonnie Junior slipped and fell. But after heading south and arriving in Blackwater, Cajun Country, Tony discovers that things aren't as simple as they seem-especially after he finds a bit of cast-off footage showing someone else at the scene of the accident.
Convinced that Lonnie Junior has been murdered, area weirdo, AirBnB host and "Gator Guys" cast member Fudgeround Arcenaux convinces Tony to help him investigate the case.
As Tony gets more and more involved with Lonnie's family and Lonnie's ex-girlfriend (and former child star) Chelsea Granger, all signs start to point to infamous rage-aholic Travis Richardson, who just happens to be a cast member of the nation's most popular Louisiana-set reality show, "Mallard Men."
After Travis is named the prime suspect, he disappears into the swamp, looking guiltier by the minute. And the town of Blackwater becomes home to a media feeding frenzy and a possible family feud between the Richardsons of "Mallard Men" and the cast of "Gator Guys."
Behind the scenes, a powerful Southern politician, Senator Ronald Birch, and scheming reality-show producer Barry Steves are pulling the strings. And reality wanna-be Brit Borders just might be involved somehow.
But Fudgeround becomes convinced he and Tony just might be looking in the wrong direction-especially after a mob heads out into the swamp to hunt down Travis Richardson and Brit ends up dead.
Knowing only that there are bigger forces at play, they set out to find the real culprit before shooting the next season-and the next victim-starts.
About the Author
Ken Wheaton was born in Opelousas, Louisiana, in 1973. Raised Catholic and Cajun, Wheaton aspired to one day be a navy pilot but was sidelined by bad eyesight and poor math skills. He graduated from Opelousas Catholic School in 1991 and went off to Southampton College-Long Island University in Southampton, New York, intending to study marine biology. An excess of drinking and (again) a dearth of math skills led him to become an English major. From there he returned to Louisiana, where he received an MA in creative writing from the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now University of Louisiana-Lafayette). Wheaton is the author of The First Annual Grand Prairie Rabbit Festival and Bacon and Egg Man, and is the managing editor of the trade publication Advertising Age. A Louisiana native, he lives in Brooklyn, New York. Said Dave Barry of Wheaton's second novel: "I had several drinks with the author at a party, and based on that experience, I would rank this novel right up there with anything by Marcel Proust.
"With Duck Duck Gator, Ken Wheaton conjures Elmore Leonard, yet delivers his own brand of magnificently entertaining character-driven colorful criminal pulp. A bayou whodunit for the reality-TV age, simultaneously knotty-plotted and easy-going, seedy but fun, rambunctious but precise. Check it out, then check it out again." - A.R. Moxon, author of The Revisionaries
"You can count on Ken Wheaton to give you endearing and eccentric characters and a vivid setting as well as a plot that'll keep you turning pages. Duck Duck Gator is every bit as addictive as the reality shows it revolves around. If this is what a Cajun cozy looks like, then sign me up for more!" - Sally Kilpatrick, author of The Happy Hour Choir and Oh My Stars
A "witty whodunit with heartfelt characters." - Kirkus Reviews