A Hard Ticket Home (Mac McKenzie, #1)
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A Hard Ticket Home (Mac McKenzie #1)

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3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  246 ratings  ·  36 reviews
Ex-St. Paul cop Rushmore McKenzie has more time, and more money, than he knows what to do with. In fact, when he's willing to admit it to himself (and he usually isn't), Mac is downright bored. Until he decides to do a favor for a friend facing a family tragedy: Nine-year-old Stacy Carlson has been diagnosed with leukemia, and the only one with the matching bone marrow tha
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Mass Market, 326 pages
Published March 1st 2006 by Leisure Books (first published January 1st 2004)
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Eric_W
Faced with the possibility of having to turn in an embezzler and come away with nothing or leave the police department and collect a huge finders fee from the insurance company, St. Paul detective Rushmore MacKenzie chooses the latter. Now he works similar to Lawrence Block’s Scudder: he has no license but does things to help people. In this story he’s been hired to find the sister of a girl who needs a transplant. Jamie Carlson had left home at 18 (never satisfactorily explained) never to retur...more
Carol/Bonadie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laurel Bradshaw
I needed another quick and easy read in between book club books, and this fit the bill. This is the first book in the series. I don't think it mattered too much that I had read the second one first. Again, I liked the quick pacing, the humor, and the local flavor. Too much violence to call it a "cozy," nevertheless it reads like a cozy.

Book description: Ex-St. Paul cop Rushmore McKenzie has more time, and more money, than he knows what to do with. In fact, when he's willing to admit it to himsel...more
Read Ng
A most entertaining, edge of your seat tale. Just the right mix of clues and plot twists to keep your heart racing and your mind spinning. Everyone has a secret, it's just a matter of sifting through all the clues to find the answer. Oh, and try not to be killed on your search for the truth. Our hero's references to pop culture are so close to mine, that I already see myself sitting at the bar, sipping a few and having a great time. I will definitely be placing Housewright on my favorite authors...more
LJ
A HARD TICKET HOME (Unlicensed Sleuth/Former Cop-Minnesota-Cont) – VG
David Housewright - Standalone (or 1st of series, I hope)
St. Martin’s Minatour, 2004- Hardcover
Former policeman Rushmore McKenzie has enough money that he doesn’t need to work, but he likes helping people. He agrees to look for Jamie Carlson in hopes that she might be a bone marrow match for her younger sister. But a simple search turns much more dangerous as McKenzie becomes a target for murder and others start dying around hi...more
Spuddie
#1 Rushmore "Mac" McKenzie mystery set in St. Paul, MN. Mac is an ex-cop who quit to take a huge reward from an embezzler he caught, so now is technically unemployed. While not a licensed investigator, he helps people who need helping, sometimes taking a small fee, sometimes accepting trade for his services.

When Richard Carlson, a man who did some renovations on his lake cabin, contacts him asking him to find his daughter Jamie, Mac might've turned down the job but for one thing: Richard's othe...more
Glen
First book in the Rushmore MacKenzie series tells the origin tale of our hero.

Mac's bored, and decides to help an acquaintance find his daughter, who ran away from home seven years ago. It seems fairly straightforward, but within hours of starting the investigation, people start tying to kill Mac, and down the rabbit hole we go.

Pretty good, when the author isn't spouting off boring liberal social commentary.
Jessica
A St. Paul cop named Rushmore McKenzie comes into a large sum of money and begins "helping" people on the side (shorthand for "not a licensed PI"). An acquaintance asks him to search for his long-lost older daughter, because his younger daughter has leukemia and needs a bone marrow transplant. This somehow morphs into a gangs-and-guns hardboiled story.

The plot kept me curious, although I guessed one element pretty quickly. But Housewright tries to make McKenzie both tough and funny and neither o...more
Kristin
This was an OK book. I would have liked it to focus more on the family described in the preview on the back cover and less on shooting bad guys, but that's just me. All told, kind of a weird book, the main character/narrator hard to figure out. I couldn't tell whether this was the first featuring this character or not. It seemed like there should be at least one before this one, but that book would be from an entirely different perspective of this character, so I'm not sure.
Don't know that I'd r...more
Duffy Pearce
This is the first in the series, I read the third "Pretty Girl Gone" first and liked it so much I thought I'd go back to the beginning. The first was even better, next up is Tin City, which I 'm too cheap to buy until I check the library for a free version first. Kindle did have another Housewright book for free, not part of the Mackensie series, but what the heck?
Patty
I like Rushmore McKenzie and his cast of friends. This is the first book in the McKenzie series and my attempt to get back in order after having read The Taking of Libbie South Dakota because of the title.

This book introduces McKenzie and builds the background I was missing in Libbie. Still, there was a bit more violence and death in this book than I usually want to deal with. However, it was not too over the top and I was able to enjoy the story and the mystery. I didn't have a clue what was g...more
Sara
The writing and style of this book reminded me so much of Robert Parker. I rather like Robert Parker's abrupt and stoic style, but this story had really violent death depicted and I don't want images like that in my head. Omitting the descriptive violence this book would have been more likeable for me. Tell me if this sounds familiar--tough older PI tracking down the killer without police assistance and against all odds. McKenzie is tough--surviving death threats and shoot-outs while investigati...more
Neill Smith
After Mackenzie arrested Thomas Teachwell out of his jurisdiction, the resulting reward allowed him to retire. He occasionally took on jobs as an unlicensed investigator and he had enough remaining connections from his policing days to make the jobs easier for him. But the new missing persons case has put him in conflict with a Minnesota-St. Paul old boys network with their associated marital infidelities and gang connections and it's looking like he may not survive - the women, the old boys, th...more
Al Iverson
A fun detective novel set in Minneapolis/St. Paul. Well written, I thought. A little bit of exposition at the start, setting the stage for why the main character has money, but no job. That perhaps dragged a bit, but once past that part, the story was interesting and held my attention well. Like so many pulp paperbacks, there are a couple of wacky "that'd never happen in a million year" plot points, but I'm used to that from the genre.
Katherine Clark
I heard many good things about this series. It opens really well (quite clever), and I liked the Minnesota setting. (Minnesota is one of the places I would like to live.) But I had serious problems with the book, most notably that the author seemed to have a hard time picking a subgenre. Was this a PI novel? Hardboiled? Traditional? Police Procedural? I got tired of the shifts in genre.
james
I like David Housewright whose novels take place in Minnesota. This one starts in the frozen north of the state in Grand Rapids. The central character is Mac McKenzie, a former police officer who suddenly comes into some money. He likes to help people in trouble. Even though I sometimes found myself thinking of the Lone Ranger, I did enjoy this fast-moving tale.
Jim
Fun, but gory, mystery. Not too much character development, but energetic. Wanted to read on, a page-turner. Lots of cliches apply, but I never put it down. Because it's set in my home city, it was amusing to recognize streets, buildings, and so on the author mentioned. There is a series of the Rushmore books, but I'm not sure I'll read another.
Mike
An introduction to another Twin Cities based crimefighter, Mac McKenzie, a former St. Paul cop turned investigator. The story moves along quickly and draws us in easily. Mac is an engaging character and while certainly a tough guy, he's not invulnerable. A great start to a new character, I'm sure I'll read the rest of the series.
Jenn
This book magically showed up on my bookshelf so I thought I would give it a go. It is the male equivalent of a Nora Roberts novel. A basic murder action book, seriously easy read but for the time investment a decent read when you are looking for something light and brain candy like.
Joe O'c
Excellent; Continuing character: Rushmore McKenzie (first in series); former cop now PI tracks down the missing sister of a child who needs a bone marrow transplant and finds himself in the middle of murder, arms for sale, and gang violence
Steve P
Has the sainted McGee been reincarnated as a knight errant ex-cop far from the balmy breezes of Fort Lauderdale, way up in the cold, cold Twin Cities?

A quick, hard-to-put-down read with plenty of action. More please.
Sue Cebelinski
A very suspenseful read by a Minnesota author. Tin City
JanOMalleycat
New to me author provided a fun mystery with a good protag, McKenzie. McKenzie was trying a little too hard to be the wisecracking detective, but I'll read the next one.
Laura
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Diane
Quick read, fair mystery.
Lois
Like the guy. Like the people. Like his love interest(s).

Did not like the killer not being essential to the main plot. That was cheating.
John Ethier
First with Mr Housewright - now have another local Mpls super-hero that I am going to have to follow - love the first name - Rushmore
Sheree Ross
A very likable character is McKenzie. He gets into a lot of trouble helping people, but he makes a good read.
Pat Lampe


A good book written in a spare manner that I like. I will read more.
Betsy Osborn
1st in Mac McKenzie mystery series. loved it
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A reformed newspaper reporter and ad man, Housewright's book "Penance" (Foul Play Press) earned the 1996 Edgar Award for Best First Novel from the Mystery Writers of America and was nominated for a Shamus in the same category by the Private Eye Writers of America.

"Practice to Deceive" won the 1998 Minnesota Book Award (it is currently being developed as a feature film) and "Jelly's Gold" won the s...more
More about David Housewright...
Tin City (Mac McKenzie, #2) Pretty Girl Gone (Mac McKenzie, #3) Jelly's Gold (Mac McKenzie, #6) Curse of the Jade Lily (Mac McKenzie, #9) Madman on a Drum (Mac McKenzie, #5)

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