According to JSH's writing blog:
"The story concerns a failed private investigator named Jack Cottonwood whose life is in a dwindling spiral after a divorce. He lives out of a small office in a small city whose name we are not told, barely scraping by on menial cases. After Jack receives a mysterious anonymous package in the mail with grisly contents, his adventurous lowlife friend Sappy encourages him to take aggressive action in high cinematic style. But Jack and Sappy soon learn that real life is nothing like the movies, and real villains do not behave as predicably as on TV."
The first draft of The Moleskin Checklist was actually written in 2011 but JSH decided it would be too dark a tale to lead off the book club with, so the manuscript was set aside (and extensively rewritten) while The Devil and Daniel Boone went first. But is the book, which includes much violence and foul language, too dark? Says JSH, "It'll all make sense someday when you have a whole row of three dozen of these weird primitive slapped-out breaking-all-the-rules pulp fiction books on your shelf."