Jimmy Cooper

Created by Lawrence Allan

“Er… whaaaat?”
—Doug’s catchphrase

JIMMY COOPER was riding high, a former child star and teen heartthrob (you remember Doug’s in Love, don’t you?) turned Los Angeles private eye who should have been set for life, until his  taste for booze and painkillers, and a “history of making bad decisions” had him hitting rock bottom. He ends up working for his mother’s very successful—and rather uptight–law firm as a investigator. And it’s played for laughs.

Hmmm… sounds suspiciously like a slightly grittier, higher stakes version of television’s So Help Me Todd, but who’s zoomin’ who?

Jimmy’s novel-length debut, Big Fat F@!k-up was published in 2022; the TV show premiered in September 2022.


Then again, So Help Me Todd was set in Portland, Oregon—Jimmy’s Big Fat F@!k-up unfolds in Los Angeles (and, of course, Hollywood), and that makes all the difference.

Because in Hollywood, where getting noticed is the prime motive for almost everything, even a spectacular screw-up—of which Jimmy is more than capable—can pay off. And after a much-televised,  high-speed chase involving cops, a stolen painting, a frightened gunman and several news choppers, Jimmy is riding high again professionally, with the phone ringing off the hook.

Much to the surprise of his mother, and the delight of his kid sister Erika, who just happens to also be a lawyer.  In fact it’s Erika who takes charge, and decides to help Jimmy get back on his feet, setting him up with his own office, hiring an office manager for him, and choosing his next client.

“You’re famous again, Jimmy!” she explains, “Now as a private detective. And you know how it is in this town. Everyone wants to hire you.”

Big Fat F@!k-up is a hoot. Jimmy’s qualifications as a detective may be hit-and-miss (his bullshit detector seems to work well, though), but it’s his zippy first-person running narrative on everything that really keeps things bouncing. It’s a total send up of Hollywood, celebrity and even the beloved tropes of crime fiction, right down to a gather-all-the-suspects conclusion.

As Jimmy promises, “It is totally going to be some Agatha Christie bullshit.”


According to his amazon bio, Lawrence Allan is “Midwestern as f@!k. A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with an MFA in playwriting, his work has been seen internationally. His fiction can be found on Shotgun Honey and in the award-winning crime anthology Wrong Turn. He lives in Los Angeles.” Where else?


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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