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Master of Murder

3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,653 Ratings  ·  62 Reviews
Librarian's note: this is an alternate cover edition - ISBN 0340582707 (ISBN 13: 9780340582701)

Marvin Summer is worried.

Why can't he find an ending for his latest book? Then the girl he's always loved agrees to go out with him - but it's a date made in hell.

Now he knows the ending to his story - when the murders come true...
Paperback, 169 pages
Published October 21st 1993 by Hodder Children's Books (first published July 1st 1992)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,481)
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Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*
No matter my age, I shall forever regard Pike as an expert at writing books that are as relatable to adults as they are to older teenagers. As young adults near that milestone themselves, novels such as this that treated them fairly on an intellectual level were appreciated.

Master of Murder focuses on a young mystery author who ends up – at first without interest – in the middle of a mystery of his own. He is a famous writer, but uses a pseudonym so no one in town knows who he is. It never ceas
I hope they don't reissue all these books with slick new covers, because the cheesy embossed ones are so totally awesome. This story had nothing to do with magic or weird or paranormal stuff, so it's unusual that I went for it. Not a top favorite but one I still remember fondly.
Dec 30, 2014 Liberty rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
My brother bought this for me in a used book store because he remembered I was obsessed with these books in middle school. Some things should not be re-read as an adult...
I actually really liked this one. It was intelligently put together and excellently played out. Right on par with Pike’s books.

Marvin’s got it bad for a girl in his class but his lust for her ends up blinding him to some things and opening his eyes to others. The book he’s writing, it’s strangely similar to a real life death that occurred in his town and people are digging to see just what happened to a star sports player who died the year before.

I got annoyed when Marvin kept putting off his bo
Nov 03, 2012 Jenn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read
Oh man, I forgot how much I love Pike's books! So much cheese, I could make quesadillas with it lol...So, Marvin Summer is a high school student who also happens to be a hugely successful YA writer named Mack Slate. His identity is a secret from everyone but his 11 year old sister, Ann (an incredibly popular name in the Pike Universe, along with Mike if I recall correctly), so he gets a silent thrill when he sees the girl of his dreams, Shelly Quade, reading one of his books during English class ...more
Austin Somlo
Took me a while, I had a hard time finishing Master of Murder.

At first, I liked the first several chapters as the writing style was hip and fun. Then, when Pike got down to brass tacks, the story became mundane and all too typical. That was when I lost interest big time. I would read for five pages and then give up for days. It was that boring.

Moreover, I found it too hard to relate with the main character because I didn't feel for him at all. Worse, he was attempting a double murder (at least
Jul 28, 2016 Tasha-Lynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this one :)
Kris Lugosi
3 1/2 to 4 stars on this one...

Pike delivers a mystery novel within a mystery novel in MASTER OF MURDER. Mack Slate is the best selling author of teenage thrillers novels...he also happens to be a 17 year old boy named Marvin Summer who lives with his alcoholic parents and little sister who is the only one who knows of his identity. Marvin goes to school like any other teen and lives a very modest lifestyle. Just like any other teen he has a love interest, Shelly but of course she's dating someo
Apr 30, 2016 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, thriller
Even though this book was aimed at young adults, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and think that Christopher Pike has an amazing way of keeping you on the edge of your seat throughout the whole novel, can't wait to read more of his novels :)
Jan 14, 2010 Mihret rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
hey i as you can see im writing a review about another christopher pike book. i would absolutly say this is myfavirote book that he wrote.after reading this book i learned that there are people that walk beside us that are menacing and others that we dont know yet but they will soon be one of the most imoprtant people in our live.if you guys like scary book you should read it.
Apr 28, 2012 Kathryn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It's not like Christopher Pike's books make a lot of sense in general, but this book was so utterly nonsensical and thin that I got zero enjoyment out of it.
Jun 12, 2012 Lesley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
This was my favorite book ever when I was 10! I had such a weird crush on the teenage writer.
Jun 26, 2011 Brittany rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this and almost everything else by Pike that I read in middle school.
"Master of Murder" is about a seventeen-year-old boy named Marvin, who was actually a famous author who had millions of fans and millions of dollars, but wrote under a pen name so nobody knew who he was.

He wanted to remain unknown, for two reasons. One, the last book of his famous series, "The Mystery At Silver Spring", was overdue, and he was worried his fame would soon end. Second, he knew that his father could -- and would -- take away all his money if he knew how rich Marvin was.

But then one
I think this book was good. I like the idea of an author that everyone loves, but nobody knows. I think it is funny the way lots of people reacted in his school. Constantly taking about what they think his home life is like and all, but all along he is still in high school. I didn't like Shelly. I thought that she was very double (or triple) sided. She wasn't with him or she was. I knew that once I started reading the book I could guess what was going to happen. (view spoiler) ...more
I really loved books by this author when I was younger and I still own a number of them, but grabbing this off the shelf at home (having forgotten my Kindle and needing a book that would keep me occupied for an hour or so) I realised that these really are 'teen' books (and youngish teen at that).

It took me a while to remember how the victim dies, but the actual murderer I didn't remember until the page before the reveal - the fact that I couldn't recall it or work it out from the book is, in my
Laurie D'ghent
Are you looking for a completely unbelievable story filled with underage drinking and lame premarital sex? This is it. Even with a ton of white-out, this book would still be something I'd never want my daughter to read, if for no other reason that it implies that random, unfeeling murder is completely acceptable, maybe even hot.
Jan 28, 2016 Mindy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The beginning made me think of Twin Peaks for some reason. It was a cleverly murder mystery within murder mystery. A lot of fun to read. Keeps you guessing.
Ainul Riz
I keep forgetting how sick Christopher Pike could get... I never really expect his endings... This was well-done - though maybe he could give more hints. I really got into the second half!
Aug 31, 2010 Kristy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In a totally awesome meta-narrative, Pike (a bestselling writer of series of suspenseful young adult books who writes under a pseudonym) gives us the story of Marvin Summer, a bestselling writer of series of suspenseful young adult books who writes under a pseudonym. Unlike Pike, Marvin is a high school student, and he finds that the plot of his popular series and his relationship with the girl of his dreams overlap a little too much -- particularly in the area of murder. There are some rather r ...more
Melanie Hobbie
I forgot how fun these young adult thrillers are! As an adult, reading them is somewhat predictable, but that's ok.
Feb 13, 2015 Shira rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
this was my favorite book in middle school.
Oct 23, 2014 Unknown rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: uknown
Autumn Cook
Aug 03, 2010 Autumn Cook rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was the best! Its about this guy named Marvin who writes books with a pen name Mack Slate and he doesnt tell anybody hes rich or that hes an author only his sister knows. Also about a year ago his friend Harry paster dies and the girl he likes Shelly was Harry Pasters girlfriend and she wants Marvin and her to start investigating his death she thinks he was murderd. This is my favorite book in the series!!!
May 31, 2011 Tara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I was a bit surprised how much I remembered from this book. This one also seemed to speed a long a bit more than his other books, and, while it wasn't my favorite, was still pretty good, considering the intended audience. I will say that I do love that today's books for young adults read as much more sophisticated, both in style and in plot/themes.
Debbie Johansson
The plot twist in this book could get confusing and became a bit of a stretch at times and I absolutely hated Shelly. However, I liked the main character, Marvin - his life as a writer and his struggles with his alcoholic parents (I just loved Marvin's frog story). Another page-turner from Christopher Pike.
Nov 23, 2010 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
i didn't really like the could Marvin get back with Shelly after what she did do him, even though it was a misunderstanding. and i can't believe she KILLED Triad! killed, like murder! its weird that my 7th grade English teacher was the one to assign THIS book. it has some sketchy hot tub parts
Dec 22, 2012 Amy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
interesting premise... but a flat ending... and the characters were pretty non-YA... even though they were supposed to be high school students - what high school student is tinkering on a lawn mower? or staying out for all hours and the parents are non-existent?
Jun 18, 2010 Clickety rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably one of my all-time favorite books. I just adore the main character, and I love, love the blend of humor and tension and pathos. It's just so real, even when it's being complete fluff. Delightful.
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Christopher Pike is the pseudonym of Kevin McFadden. He is a bestselling author of young adult and children's fiction who specializes in the thriller genre.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

McFadden was born in New York but grew up in California where he stills lives in today. A college drop-out, he did factory work, painted houses and programm
More about Christopher Pike...

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