The Exploding Detective

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The Exploding Detective (ISBN 0-9755799-6-7) is a comedic novel written by John Swartzwelder, a writer most famous for his work on The Simpsons television series. The main character is a klutzy private detective named Frank Burly. This is Swartzwelder's fourth novel (and third to feature Frank Burly) and was published on 12th March 2007. The genre of the book is a cross between science fiction and comedy.


The preceding books in the series are:

The Time Machine Did It (2004, ISBN 0-9755799-0-8)

Double Wonderful (2005)

How I Conquered Your Planet (2006, ISBN 0-9755799-4-0)


The succeeding books in the series are:

Dead Men Scare Me Stupid (2008)

Earth vs Everybody (2009)

The Last Detective Alive (2010)

The Fifty Foot Detective (2011)

The Million Dollar Policeman (2012)


Plot synopsis[edit]

To help differentiate himself from the rest of the private detectives in Central City, Frank Burly decides he needs a gimmick to attract customers. He purchases a refurbished World War II jet pack that was part of a Nazi plot to conquer Heaven in the afterlife and outfits it with booster rockets that he bought from a women's fashion magazine. Calling himself "The Flying Detective," he begins recklessly streaking across the skies of Central City and crashing into buildings. In fact, the citizens of Central City see him crash, burn and explode so often that they begin to suspect the hapless detective possesses super powers that protect him from serious injury.
At the same time, a bizarre new crime wave hits the city. An army of robots led by Napoleon commit a series of robberies in the industrial district, stealing chemicals and other raw materials. Frustrated, the mayor and the chief of police approach Frank Burly about becoming the city's patron super hero. In exchange for $1,500 a week, Burly agrees to don a cape and tights and fly through the city in the name of justice and goodness. However, he soon finds he has bitten off more than he can chew when Napoleon turns out to be a robot and the real mastermind behind the crime wave unleashes his assassin robots against The Flying Detective.