The old British comedian Les Dawson used to be very funny with his intentionally awful piano playing, but he could only do it so amusingly badly because he could play well in the first place. “Romance Novel” is a bit like that: you can tell that PJ Jones can write well or she wouldn’t be able to send up bad writing so successfully. In addition to the narrative voice frequently reminding you how absurd the whole thing is, the character names are faultless - Smella Rosepetal, Deadward Forest, Snake Long et. al. - and the running jokes - the baby whose name keeps changing, the token black character who refuses to be a token, the virginal mother etc - don’t wear off. From the great cover to vampires' obsession with the Bee Gees (I always wondered who bought their bloody records), there is quality humour throughout.
“Romance Novel” is perhaps not for those easily offended, since it introduces explicit sexual conduct, flatulence and bad words not usually found in Mills & Boon (or so I understand), but if like me you only object to that sort of thing if it is gratuitous, then you won’t object here; these are used always to send up the conventions of romantic fiction.
Nobel prize winner? No. But unsurpassable spoof fiction.