Twisted mystery

Whispering Bodies

Even the most casual of punk-rock fans are usually familiar with Operation Ivy, the '80s-era East Bay ska-punk innovators. While half the band would later form Rancid, Ivy lead singer Jesse Michaels ended up dabbling in other bands as well as fiction. Now, Michaels has released his debut novel, Whispering Bodies (Soft Skull Press, $15.95), an odd but entertaining twisted detective story. Roy Belkin, the book's highly eccentric protagonist, unintentionally lands in the middle of a murder mystery. And that's only one of his big problems: He's also a paranoid, people-hating recluse who needs to perform a whole series of rituals just to leave the house.