For Fans Of
Solving a marital problem might lead to murders.
Solving a crime rarely connects a gay P.I., a bodybuilder, and a heterosexual couple.
VINNIE wants to help his boss DAN, a good-looking, intelligent man. Dan's problem starts with jealousy—his wife’s obsession with muscular men. Her obsession flares with Ben, her trainer, and pro-bodybuilder fuels Dan's jealousy. Ben being gay doesn’t matter to Dan.
Dan’s solution requires a move to Paris if he can become his firm's financial director. Except Dan’s rival wants the job, promoted by the executive vice president for their embezzlement scheme. Using false charges, they ruthlessly eliminate Dan. Lucky for Dan he has Vinnie. Unlucky for Vinnie the rivals have the Brooklyn mob.
Now Dan enters the world of bodybuilding, gay sex, and criminals to help Vinnie. He needs Ben’s help. Is it enough? Can Dan agree to Ben’s request? Do they have a choice?
5.0 out of 5 stars
A Feast of a Book
ByPhilip Fontana on February 13, 2016
Where to begin and how to contain a review of a feast of a book, Ice Cream Man! In his first novel, author Charles Puccia spins quite a tale, a believable story, filled with intrigue and, yet, fascinating to the point of amusement. - -Clearly a “page turner”! The book is packed with action and gripping plot developments, straight forward, and no forced, contrived twists.
From my perspective, Ice Cream Man presents two major stories in one. The first is the stage set at Del Vecchio & Neale, Inc., DV&N, an international financial firm, time and location, contemporary New York City. It is at DV&N that Bill Barrington and Linda Lords conspire to embezzle $75 million which fuels author Puccia’s entire story.
The second major thrust comes out of DV&N with the book’s main protagonist, Dan Livorno, a Vice President, who is the victim of Bill and Linda’s scheme. Dan’s career and that of wife Ginny at Bloomingdales flirt with new positions for both of them in Paris. And as for Ginny, her backstory will send you to researching the disorder “sthenolagnia,” referred to as “stethy” for the convenience of the story. It’s for real in the world of things obsessive-compulsive. You find out, not to spoil the fun! And it is in this realm that the book’s title, Ice Cream Man, originates, and the title not to be dropped by the author, but further developed.
To these major stories, in my opinion, I would add two sub-plots. One sub-plot focuses on Vinnie Briggs, Dan’s administrative assistant. Vinnie’s portion of the story enables the author to bring in the Mob! The other sub-plot is about Ben Hausen, bodybuilder aficionado and Ginny’s personal trainer. --Dan’s too eventually, but that’s telling you too much! These sub-plots are accomplished in part through the author’s use of flashbacks. - -Not too many. - -Just enough as required. - -Even flashbacks for the major stories! And to accomplish these plots and sub-plots the author uses a cast of many other players.
The author, Charles Puccia, proves himself in Ice Cream Man to be quite a raconteur. And I am sure as bon vivant of two continents and cities here, the USA and Europe, New York City and Paris, has more stories in him to reveal. The author demonstrates an uncanny acuity as a generalist in everything under the sun; from the financial world and technology to academia, bodybuilding, all kinds of sex, foul language, sports, the media in all its forms, the arts too in all forms, hospitals and medicine and psychology, the drug culture, things French and especially all things Italian from the language to food and wine, and may I end with (though this list is not exhaustive) all things Mafioso, Brooklyn, New York, and Hackensack, New Jersey, where I was born!
And there is no doubt that in Charles Puccia’s Ice Cream Man “art imitates life” in the workplace, indeed, in the world. He bridges the gap of our heterosexual and homosexual worlds through an integrative storyline. There is no longer hetero nor gay, but sexual. He brings his story to an erotic crescendo (and a violent crescendo as well) as it approaches “climax.” The author gives gravitas to the serial story phrase, “to be continued.” Where would Mr. Puccia’s next novel go with this? The LGBT community awaits his art imitating our lives in his next book. And I can see Ice Cream Man the play and the movie.